Lake Zurich priest reinstated after people claiming sexual abuse stop cooperating with authorities

WBBM - CBS 2 [Chicago IL]

February 11, 2023

Blaise Cardinal Cupich reinstated a suburban priest Saturday, after those making sexual abuse allegations against him stopped cooperating with the investigation.

Cupich wrote to parishioners of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lake Zurich that after numerous attempts, the people making the allegations against Father David F. Ryan had refused to cooperate with civil and church authorities.

Thus, the Independent Review Board concluded there is not sufficient reason to believe Ryan is guilty of sexually abusing a minor, and thus, he is being reinstated.

The most recent allegations date from September of last year. Ryan was asked to step aside as pastor of the church during the investigation of the allegations, which were not the first.

In 2020, Ryan was also accused of sexual abuse of a minor 25 years prior – when Ryan was assigned to Maryville Academy in Des Plaines.

Maryville Academy has been plagued with allegations of sexual abuse, particularly surrounding the Rev. John Smyth – the longtime leader of the facility.

Smyth was assigned to Maryville after ordination in 1962 and became its executive director in 1970 — a position he held until it was shuttered in 2004. Smyth died in April 2019, after being removed from public ministry by the church.

As for Ryan, he was also cleared of the first sex abuse claim and reinstated in 2021, though the reinstatement was delayed for a period of time due to unspecified new information that came up.