Prosecutors: Priest Abused Boy 'Daily'

By Monifa Thomas
Daily Southtown [Chicago IL]
May 7, 2006

A former West Side priest already charged with molesting three boys abused another boy "on a daily basis" during the time he was being monitored by the Archdiocese of Chicago, prosecutors alleged Saturday.

The Rev. Daniel McCormack was released from the Cook County Jail on Saturday afternoon, about three hours after a judge raised his bail to $700,000.

McCormack was arrested Friday on two new counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving two boys, ages 10 and 11.

McCormack, 37, former pastor of St. Agatha in North Lawndale, already faced charges of molesting three boys at the parish between September 2001 and December 2005. He has pleaded not guilty to those counts of criminal sexual abuse.

The alleged victims in the new cases were both students at Presentation School on the West Side, where McCormack was a teacher and basketball coach, said Kathleen Muldoon, a Cook County assistant state's attorney.

The 10-year-old victim played basketball for Presentation. He was allegedly fondled by McCormack on one occasion between August 2003 and June 2004 inside St. Agatha's rectory, prosecutors said.

McCormack molested the 11-year-old "on a daily basis" at Presentation between September 2005 and January of this year, Muldoon said.

The Archdiocese of Chicago appointed a monitor to keep an eye on McCormack last August after allegations against him first surfaced last summer.

Archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer said he couldn't confirm that the alleged abuse occurred while McCormack was being monitored by a priest at St. Agatha.

"If it did, it just indicates to us what we already knew: Our monitoring program needs to be upgraded significantly, and we are in the process of doing that," Dwyer said.

In March, the archdiocese released the results of an outside evaluation stating that its procedures for monitoring priests accused of abusing children were deeply flawed. The independent consultant who conducted the study noted that monitors were not well-trained, and they relied on the accused priests to report their own activities.

There also are no consequences for priests who do not cooperate, the study said.

McCormack was first charged Jan. 21 with sexual abuse for allegedly fondling two boys when they were 8 and 9 years old. An additional charge of molesting a third boy, who was 11 at the time, came in February. Bail in those cases was set at $500,000.

McCormack has since been removed from St. Agatha, and he had been staying with one of his brothers in the suburbs until he turned himself in to police Friday night.


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