‘you Took My Innocence’: Suburban Man Sues over Alleged Priest Molestation
By Stefano Esposito
January 23, 2014
It was a treat no 8-year-old boy could refuse: The chance to be behind the wheel of a car, sitting on the lap of a priest to be trusted just like “Dad.”
“I made a wrong turn, he stuck his hand down my pants and he grabbed my penis,” the now 52-year-old man from the southwest suburbs recalled Thursday.
The suburbanite is a big man, with hands that look as if they could wield a sledgehammer for wages. But he wouldn’t say what he does for work, or give his name or exactly where he lives — so ashamed is he of the abuse he says he endured from two of the Chicago area’s most notorious child molesters in the early 1970s at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School in Oak Lawn.
On Thursday, the suburban man’s lawyer filed a suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County alleging, among other things, that neither priest Norbert Maday nor his friend, Thomas E. Hacker, should have been allowed anywhere near children at the Oak Lawn school. The suit alleges that the Archdiocese of Chicago didn’t do nearly enough to protect the suburban man — and another unnamed victim — from Maday and Hacker. In the early 1970s, Maday was the supervisor of youth sports at the school. Hacker was a substitute teacher and athletic director there.
On Thursday, the archdiocese said in a statement that it had not seen the complaint and offered no comment.
The suburban man said he’s seeking justice now, in part because he’s angry at revelations in thousands of pages of just-released archdiocese documents showing the church knew about allegations of abuse and worked to hide them.
“I just felt compelled to come out and do something about it,” he said.
It’s been about 40 years since the alleged abuse, but the suburban man’s voice faltered several times as he recalled the incidents this week. He said he and other boys were routinely fondled at St. Louis de Montfort in the early 1970s — both by Maday and Hacker, although not at the same time. The suburban man recalled seeing Maday and Hacker chatting and laughing together — and wondering if they were talking about their victims.
He said he told his mother about the abuse, but when she complained to the principal, she was told the issue had been handled — even though it hadn’t.
The events destroyed any trust he had for anyone in the church, the man said.
Hacker, now in his 70s, is serving a 100-year prison term for molesting a 14-year-old member of a Boy Scout troop he led at a parish in southwest suburban Burbank in the 1980s. Maday was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1994 for molesting two teenage boys in separate 1986 parish outings to Oshkosh, Wis. Maday, 75, is now a registered sex offender living in Oshkosh under electronic monitoring, according to media reports.
What would the suburban man say to Maday if he ran into him on the street?
“You took my innocence, my trust in the Catholic Church, what I believed in,” the man said, before adding, “And maybe a couple of other things.”