Convicted Priest Jailed on Probation Violation

By Paul Meincke
November 1, 2007

ELKHORN, Wis. - It has been 20 months since Fr. Donald McGuire was convicted of sexually abusing two young men in the 1960s. Although sentenced to seven years, the former Jesuit priest has been allowed to remain free on bond while he appeals.

"I'm praying for everybody, myself. I'm at the age where prayer is more important than anything else. So that's what we're doing, OK?" said McGuire.

McGuire returned to court Thursday to argue that his original trial lawyer did an inadequate job and that the abuse claims occurred so long ago ttat they're no longer legally valid.

The judge did not agree and denied McGuire's request for a new trial. But within minutes of that decision, the county sheriff deputies arrested the 77-year-old McGuire and took him to jail for what was said to be a probation violation.

McGuire's attorney was furious.

"It appears to be a probation violation. Even though his agent in Illinois actually said that he was doing perfectly on probation. But there was no problem," said attorney Robert Hanek.

One man, who did not want his name revealed, was a long-time friend and ardent supporter of Fr. McGuire until his two sons recently told him that they too were sexually abused by the priest.

"Get him away from our kids. He's already done so much damage to our family and children. I don't want him walking the streets of Chicago or anywhere else," the man said.

Thursday's arrest is the third time McGuire has been jailed for violating his probation as a convicted sex offender.

His jail stays have been brief. McGuire was arrested this time because he failed to fill out the proper paperwork for Wisconsin as a convicted sex offender. This jail stay may also be brief, but Wisconsin could move to permanently revoke his bond.

The Jesuits, in a written statement, say the only failsafe mechanism is for McGuire to start serving his seven-year sentence.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.