Journal & Topics
June 17, 2019
By Todd Wessell
Charges by two men that former Maryville Academy Executive Director and Notre Dame High School President Father John Smyth sexually abused them while they were 12 and 13-years-old, have been determined to be “unfounded,” according to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). “The case is now closed,” said a DCFS spokesperson when contacted by the Journal & Topics Media Group on Monday.
The Chicago Catholic Archdiocese announced in mid-January that Cardinal Blase Cupich had asked Father Smyth to step aside from his ministry after the church had received allegations that the Catholic priest had sexually molested two teens around 2002 and 2003. The alleged abuse was done at a Maryville facility in Des Plaines.
An investigation launched by the Archdiocese at that time was halted when the DCFS began its own probe in late January.
Smyth, Maryville’s assistant executive director and then its executive director, was associated with the institution that housed and cared for youths, died in mid-January at age 84. He was also founder of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine located on the Maryville grounds, and the Standing Tall Foundation that also helps youths.
When the charges of sexual abuse surfaced, hundreds of Smyth’s friends, including many alumni of Maryville, rushed to his aid saying the accusations are wrong and outrageous.
The spokesperson for the DCFS said the agency’s policy is not to comment further on the investigation.
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