Priest Convicted of Oshkosh Sex Assaults at Center of New Lawsuit
By Michael Tarm
January 24, 2014
A new lawsuit filed Thursday alleging sexual abuse of children in the 1960s and ‘70s focuses on Norbert J. Maday, a now-defrocked priest and registered sex offender who lives in Oshkosh and is referred to at length in documents released this week by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.
Maday molested boys — sometimes in cars or motel swimming pools — when a priest at Chicago’s St. Leo Catholic Church and later at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in Oak Lawn, according to the lawsuit.
The document, filed in Cook County Court on behalf of three plaintiffs, names Maday, the archdiocese, and another man, Thomas Hacker, who is serving two concurrent 50-year prison terms on a 1989 conviction for molesting three boys.
The Illinois lawsuit says the archdiocese should have known the kids were at risk, and it seeks more than $50,000 on each of multiple civil counts. The diocese hadn’t seen the court filing, so couldn’t comment, spokeswoman Susan Burritt said.
Maday, 75, was convicted in Winnebago County in 1994 and sentenced to prison for molesting two boys during a 1986 church outing to Father Carr's Place 2B in Oshkosh, when Maday was an associate pastor at Our Lady of the Ridge parish in Chicago Ridge, Ill.
After serving a prison sentence, he was was classified as a sexually violent person and committed to a secure treatment facility. He was released on Aug. 2, 2013 and now lives in Oshkosh.
Documents released by the archdiocese this week include a 2000 letter to Maday in which Cardinal Francis George informed him the archdiocese was seeking his early release from prison.
“It would be a great fulfillment of the millennium spirit to see your captive heart set free,” George writes.
But in a 2007 letter to the Parole Commission of Wisconsin — just before Maday was scheduled to be released from prison — George wrote that he was severing all ties to Maday, including by formally removing him from the priesthood.
“My first reason is the protection of the vulnerable,” George explains. And, he adds, “It would be a cause of scandal … if he were to return to the Chicago metropolitan area and remain a priest.”
In the early ‘70s, Hacker, who was never a priest, oversaw a Boy Scout troop based in the Oak Lawn church; Hacker would sometimes accompany Maday on retreats, where they would both molest children, the lawsuit says.
Hacker, 77, was the subject of a 2012 lawsuit alleging the Boy Scouts of America and Chicago-area scouting officials failed to protect children from the convicted pedophile. A message seeking comment from the Texas-based organization wasn’t immediately returned.