DCFS ends investigation into Maryville’s Smyth; archdiocese set to resume inquiry

Chicago Daily Herald

June 19, 2019

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has formally closed its investigation into former Maryville Academy leader the Rev. John Smyth.

The move is expected to trigger the Archdiocese of Chicago to reopen its internal probe into sex abuse claims against the now deceased priest.

DCFS began its inquiry after the archdiocese provided notification that two men claimed Smyth molested them in the early 2000s when they were 13 and 14 years old. The archdiocese made those accusations public in January.

Under DCFS policy, the agency looks into whether someone accused of abuse at any time in the past may be a risk to children today. The probe didn’t specifically examine the accusations of the two men.

“Reports of prior abuse from adults plays an important role in determining if an alleged perpetrator is still a risk to children today. The mission of DCFS is to keep children safe today,” said DCFS spokeswoman Deborah Lopez. “In the investigation of Father Smyth, his hospitalization and death means he would no longer pose a potential risk to children.”

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