Former Chicago priest Daniel McCormack deposed in child sex abuse lawsuits

WLS - ABC 7 [Chicago IL]

March 31, 2022

By Stacey Baca

Former Priest Daniel McCormack faced a deposition this week, forced to answer questions about several civil cases against him.

McCormack is free after serving time for sexually abusing five children while he was a priest at St. Agatha’s Parish. Gene Hollander, an attorney who represents several victims, said the deposition was an important moment in the history of the case.

“This is the first time since the scandal broke 17 years ago that he’s being forced to answering questions about abusing children,” Hollander said.

Hollander was one of several attorneys questioning Daniel McCormack about abusing children. Hollander said McCormack’s deposition lasted seven hours Wednesday.

“He had a very flat demeanor,” Hollander said. “I didn’t see any emotion from him. I just didn’t see any remorse. Some of these victims went through unspeakable horrors.”

Hollander said he has represented several of McCormack’s victims. So far, he has settled nine cases. He questioned McCormack about three cases pending, and he’s ready to file seven more. Other attorneys represent more victims as well.

“Dan McCormack had every opportunity he wanted to deny the allegations. He didn’t do it. He just invoked the 5th Amendment,” Hollander said, referring to the deposition.

When asked about the deposition, McCormack’s attorney, Hallie Bezner, said: “The protective order prevents me from talking about it.”

The Archdiocese of Chicago noted the same order in its statement, writing: “We don’t comment on suits and settlements but, in addition, the judge in this case issued a protective order. No one should be commenting beyond acknowledging a deposition occurred.”

Hollander would not share video or transcripts of McCormack’s deposition, citing the protective order as well. Hollander said McCormack’s use of the 5th Amendment could be used against him in a civil case and trial, which is different than the legal standard for criminal court.