Victim, Cop Slam Archdiocese's Efforts to Get Priest
out of Prison Early
By Andrew Herrmann and Mike Thomas
August 14, 2008
[Note from BishopAccountability.org: This article contains references
to the deposition
of Cardinal Francis E. George. Below we have added links to the deposition
and its exhibits.]
A victim of sex-abusing priest Norbert Maday and the detective who helped
put the clergyman behind bars said Wednesday they were appalled and disheartened
by efforts by the Archdiocese of Chicago to spring Maday from prison.
"It made me sick," said Oshkosh police Detective Gerald Forseth,
Referring to a letter from Cardinal Francis George to Maday that six years
in prison was "enough," the victim, now 40, said in an interview
that "600 years wouldn't be enough." [See Exhibit
Laicized in December 2007, Maday was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to
20 years in jail by a Winnebago County, Wis., judge. Forseth, who investigated
the case, including visiting Chicago parishes where Maday worked, said
Wednesday he had read Sun-Times accounts of the efforts by George and
other archdiocese officials to get Maday released.
The archdiocese's efforts didn't surprise him. When he came to Chicago
to investigate, the archdiocese "stonewalled us at every turn,"
"[Maday] was well-connected, no doubt about it. There was a lot of
pull there. He had a lot of friends.
"This guy was a total pervert, and the church knew this, and they
kept moving him from church to church," recalled Forseth, who said
he found eight other Maday victims during the course of his investigation
in Chicago. "And there is no accountability for all the moving, all
the cover-up they did."
Asking to be identified only as Mike, Maday's victim said his abuser "should
never walk the streets again."
George might now be more inclined than ever to agree, not least of all
because text of his sworn deposition and a $12.6 million sex abuse settlement
from the archdiocese were made public Tuesday.
But he didn't always.
"Hopefully, some good souls will see that the six years of incarceration
you have already endured are enough to satisfy the state and any sense
of justice," George wrote to Maday in March 2000. [See Exhibit
"I think he obviously disagrees with that because he's changed his
position," said the cardinal's spokeswoman, Colleen Dolan.
Like Forseth, Mike, too, was disturbed by the recent revelations.
"I think that it's disheartening to the victims, and it re-victimizes
them when this information comes out that the cardinal would be writing
letters on behalf of a convicted sex offender," he said. Mike is
among 16 victims who'll receive a settlement from the archdiocese.
Mike said his own history of abuse by Maday began in 1982, when Maday
was stationed at St. Bede the Venerable Church in Chicago, and ended in
Maday's abuse allegedly included putting his hands down Mike's pants.
"[Priests] were considered godlike, and everything they said and
did was not to be questioned," Mike said of his upbringing.
Maday was scheduled to be released in October 2007 but is being held at
a state-run facility in Winnebago as Wisconsin officials move to commit
him indefinitely as a "sexually violent person," said Wisconsin
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Rachel Krueger. A trial is set for