New Allegations Surround Catholic Priest
Archdiocese Agrees to Hand over Files

February 23, 2006

CHICAGO -- Investigators told NBC5 exclusively on Wednesday that there are more allegations of sexual abuse against a Roman Catholic priest.

The Rev. Dan McCormack is already facing criminal charges in connection with three young victims. He was removed last month from St. Agatha Church on the West Side.

Investigators said they are looking at complaints of abuse from at least five other young people who said that McCormack sexually abused them as well. It will take two to three weeks for investigators to interview all of the people involved before any additional charges are filed.

The alleged victims are young people who either attended St. Agatha Church or Our Lady of the West Side school, or even the young people who lived in the neighborhood who came in contact with the priest, NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern reported.

Department of Children and Family Services officials said they have begun looking at the files, and at the same time, sources told NBC5 that investigators were going through all of the allegations they have received on McCormack. They said they hope to present them as one group, and may ask prosecutors for additional charges within a few weeks.

McCormack's case prompted new guidelines between the archdiocese and the Department of Children and Family Services. On Wednesday, both agreed to new terms in investigating complaints of abuse. The archdiocese has agreed to hand over all of its files, dating back 50 years, for DCFS to take a look and make sure there is no one in ministry who shouldn't be with children.

"We're going to start meeting with the archdiocese immediately," said DCFS Director Bryan Samuels. "In reality, not only did we reach agreement on these issues today, but the archdiocese has already referred a couple of cases to us. So, we've begun the process of looking at a couple of examples of where this might happen. But, in terms of how large a population this is, we have no way of knowing."


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