Archdiocese May Have Been Warned about Priest

By Jay Levine
January 28, 2006

(CBS) CHICAGO The Rev. Daniel McCormack was arrested last week and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of two young boys, and a third later made allegations against him.

But CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has learned that the Cook County state's attorney's office has received contact from a former classmate of McCormack's at Niles College, a pipeline for candidates bound for the priesthood at the seminary in Mundelein.

That former classmate claims that when both he and McCormack were students at Niles College in 1988, he awoke to find his pants pulled down and McCormack standing over him.

Levine has spoken to both the alleged victim and a classmate that victim confided in at the time. Both have asked to remain anonymous, but they confirm the incident recounted for us by others as well.

The classmate said he told the victim he should report the incident to church officials right away.

The Archdiocese of Chicago on Friday refused to tell us if that victim did so. Officials there said the archdoicese "doesn't discuss confidentional student information," but added, "anyone with information should come forward and report it."

The alleged victim already has spoken to the state's attorney's office. A spokesman there said the office "won't comment on cases under investigation."

It was 12 years later in 2000, at Holy Family Parish School that a nun, the principal, was told about McCormack allegedly pulling down the pants of a 4th grader.

A year after that, at St. Agatha, published reports indicate a 13-year-old claims he was a victim the same thing.

McCormack is currently free on bond after being charged with fondling 8 and 9 year-olds at St. Agatha between 2001 and 2005.

McCormack was the boys' basketball coach at St. Agatha Church, located at 3147 W. Douglas Blvd. Following the charges, he was removed from the parish.

The common question running through all these incidents is what did church officials know and when did they know it. The nun at Holy Family was required by law to notify police when she learned about the allegations.

The archdiocese didn't let last fall's investigation of McCormack affect his promotion to supervise 20 westside parishes. But McCormack might never have been ordained in the first place had the alleged incidents at Niles college been investigated and acted on.

As part of the conditions of McCormack's bond, he was forbidden from having contact with the victims and their families and anyone under the age of 18. If convicted, McCormack could face up to seven years in prison, Cook County state's attorney's office spokesman John Gorman said last week.


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