$10 Million Suit Filed in Priest Abuse Case

By Manya A. Brachear
Chicago Tribune
February 15, 2006,1,5937243.story?coll=chi-newslocalchicago-hed

The family of the 13-year-old boy whose complaint led to the arrest of Rev. Daniel McCormack has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, Our Lady of the West Side Catholic School and the former pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church.

According to the lawsuit, between 2001 and 2005 McCormack "engaged in a pattern and practice of continuous forced sexual abuse" toward the boy, which included "touching and fondling ... of private parts."

Steve Dicker, the family's attorney, said the abuse occurred in the church's rectory during and after practice of the Our Lady of the West Side basketball team. McCormack was the boy's coach.

The abuse ended in January 2005, Dicker said, adding that poor grades kept the student from playing basketball beginning then.

Last month, a girl complained to the school's principal that she had been touched inappropriately by the 13-year-old boy. Church officials said that when the boy was called to the principal's office he made a comment about McCormack that prompted school officials to call police.

The boy recently moved to another Catholic school and is undergoing therapy, but his family remains at St. Agatha parish, Dicker said.

The suit, filed Friday, is the second civil suit against the archdiocese since McCormack was charged Jan. 21 with criminal sexual abuse of two minors. He has since been charged with abusing a third minor. Last week lawyers for that 11-year-old boy filed suit castigating Cardinal Francis George for failing to protect their client, saying McCormack abused him while the priest was being monitored.


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