Judge Denies Bond for Defrocked Priest
By Joe Boyle
May 29, 2014
A Cook County judge has denied bond for Daniel McCormack, the former West Lawn resident and defrocked priest who is facing new charges following his conviction of being a child molester.
McCormack, 45, who attended St. Mary Star of the Sea Elementary School while growing up in West Lawn, was denied bond on May 22 regarding a new charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in an incident dating back to 2005.
Appearing in court in a White Sox T-shirt, shorts and gym shoes, McCormack faced Cook County Judge James Brown at Leighton Criminal Court at 26th and California.
The Chicago Police Department issued a warrant for McCormack on May 16 in relation to a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. McCormack was taken into custody at the Illinois Department of Human Services facility in Rushville, Ill., and was transported to Chicago by the arresting detectives without incident.
According to prosecutors, the alleged victim was 10 years old. The abuse allegedly took place at St. Agatha Church on the West Side where McCormack was a priest. Prosecutors state that the boy was participating in an after-school program at the church when the alleged abuse occurred between September and December of 2005.
One incident reportedly took place after McCormack took the boy to a White Sox game. After the game, McCormack took the boy home. Before the alleged victim entered his home, McCormack embraced him and fondled him, prosecutors say.
Another incident allegedly took place when McCormack was watching television with the boy. McCormack fondled the boy and told him not tell anyone, prosecutors said.
Daniel Coyne, the attorney for McCormack, said the former priest has a mental disorder and is a “sexually violent person.”
David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, of SNAP, said the new charges against McCormack means the police are concerned.
“We believe law enforcement officials have brought these charges, in part, because they fear McCormack could walk free soon if the effort to have him permanently locked up isn’t taken,” said Clohessy. “So this is a smart prevention step. We applaud police and prosecutors and, most of all, the victim — all of whom are helping to stop future child sex crimes through these new charges.”
Barbara Blaine, founder and president of SNAP, said the Chicago Archdiocese is to blame for ignoring McCormack’s years of abuse.
“We think it’s irresponsible for church officials to recruit, educate, train, hire, supervise, transfer and protect child molesting clerics, then suddenly pretend to be powerless once they are defrocked,” said Blaine.
“There are hundreds of parish bulletins, church websites and pulpits where verbal announcements could and should have been made, imploring every single person who saw, suspected or suffered McCormack’s crimes to call police immediately,” said Blaine. “Cardinal Francis George himself should personally visit every church where McCormack worked, begging the flock to step forward with what they know or suspect about McCormack.”
In the meantime, McCormack will remain at the Rushville facility where he has been since he was paroled from prison for earlier sex crimes committed at St. Agatha. He will be transported to and from the facility for the hearings. — City & Suburban News-Herald