Jesuit Priest Convicted of Abuse Is Jailed Again

By Manya A. Brachear
Chicago Tribune
November 2, 2007,1,2661737.story

A prominent Jesuit priest and convicted sex offender was back behind bars in Wisconsin Thursday for violating probation a third time since his conviction in February 2006.

Wisconsin state authorities made the arrest inside a Walworth County courtroom after Judge James Carlson denied a motion to retry Rev. Donald McGuire on charges he molested two Loyola Academy students in the state during the 1960s.

McGuire, 77, who for decades traveled the world as the spiritual director for Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, has been living on probation for the last several months in a private residence in Oak Lawn. Despite two probation violations last year, he was allowed to return to Illinois because authorities did not consider him a risk to children.

Carlson declined to revoke the priest's probation after a lawsuit was filed in August alleging further abuse had occurred in recent years. He declined again Thursday, despite another lawsuit and a two-page letter from the Jesuit order saying the only way to ensure the public's safety would be to incarcerate him.

John Dipko, a spokesman with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, said McGuire was arrested because he did not verify his whereabouts to state authorities, a legal requirement for registered sex offenders in Wisconsin. McGuire could be held for up to three days while authorities investigate the violation.

While most of the oldest accusations against McGuire fall outside Illinois' criminal statute of limitations, McGuire was prosecuted and convicted in Wisconsin for molesting two students from the Wilmette academy during several trips to the resort area near Lake Geneva. The Wisconsin statute of limitations does not apply to out-of-state residents.

He was sentenced to two concurrent 7-year prison terms and three concurrent 20-year probation terms. The prison sentence was postponed pending his appeal, but probation started immediately.

During the 2006 trial, McGuire wore a clerical collar and spent his time during breaks talking to supporters, who included some members of Mother Teresa's order.

On Thursday, the priest appeared in court pushing a walker, and the only clerical collar in the courtroom belonged to the prosecutor's pastor, an Episcopal priest, said Walworth County District Atty. Phil Koss.

Victims' advocates applauded the Jesuits' efforts to put McGuire behind bars but said it was too little, too late.

"Bottom line is if the Jesuits had done the right thing, this could have been done 38 years ago," said Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.



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