Priest's Trial Set after His Accusers Testify

By David Silverman
Chicago Tribune
July 15, 1992

In a voice at first halting and unsure but that soon rose to shake a Winnebago County courtroom Tuesday, a 19-year-old former altar boy revealed the secret that he allegedly had long shared with Rev. Norbert Maday.

"He said he'd kill my brother if I told anybody," the boy said. "He molested me."

In great detail during two hours of testimony, the former altar boy and a 20-year-old former member of Chicago Ridge's Our Lady of the Ridge Parish, described how Maday allegedly sexually abused them during a 1986 retreat at an Oshkosh religious camp.

Though denied by Maday and disputed by witnesses brought by his attorneys, the testimony of the two young men was enough to convince Circuit Court Judge William Crain that the embattled priest should stand trial on two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of intimidating a witness.

At his arraignment Tuesday afternoon, Maday pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Crain had earlier dismissed two lesser charges of enticing a child for immoral purposes against the former priest of St. Jude the Apostle Parish in South Holland.

Maday, who is on administrative leave from his post, was an associate pastor at the Chicago Ridge church from 1983 to 1989.

"It hurts me very much that they would testify to something that never happened," Maday said as he left the Winnebago County courthouse.

"I was hoping that it would be over today," he said.

Instead, Maday, 54, now faces trial next month for allegedly fondling the two boys in a room at a religious retreat called The Place To Be during the summer of 1986. Maday's accusers, who were 14 years old at the time of the alleged assaults, described how they met Maday at church youth functions and later got together with him as many as three times a week in the months preceding the Oshkosh excursions.

It was during that trip that Maday had promised the boys "free video games, swimming, movies and a chance to get away from the city," one of the boys said.

But on the second day of their vacation and again later during the five days they stayed at The Place To Be, the young men said Maday sexually assaulted them.

One claimed that the priest fondled him while he and the priest were wrestling on a bed in their underwear in a retreat "bunkhouse" and later while Maday gave the boy a back rub.

The second boy claimed that Maday masturbated as he fondled the teen while the two were alone in the bunkhouse.

"He started rubbing my legs, the inside of my thighs," the boy said under questioning from District Atty. Joseph Paulus.

After the alleged assault, the boy said, Maday threatened to kill the boy's brother if he told anyone about the incident. Then "he just got up and walked away," the teenager said.

Maday remains free on $15,000 bond, posted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, and is scheduled to return to Oshkosh in mid-August.

"I did no wrong," Maday said. "That will be proven once the trial begins."


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