Priest Molestation Case Goes to Jury

By Jeff Coen
Chicago Breaking News
October 23, 2008

The jury in the federal case of a defrocked Jesuit priest accused of repeatedly molesting a boy left in his care was sent to deliberate late Thursday after attorneys in the case argued over whether the alleged victims of Donald McGuire were looking to bring in a financial windfall from the church in the form of a civil settlement.

McGuire's attorney, Stephen Komie, suggested that the main victim in the case, known as Dominick, went to civil attorneys first to file a claim before reaching to anyone who might prosecute the case.

McGuire is accused of traveling, including out of the country, to engage in sex with Dominick. Komie said the trips had a strictly religious purpose and that Dominick had a reason to lie to the jury when he testified this month about alleged abuse.

"Money, money, money," Komie said.

The lawyer described Dominick's civil attorney who brought the claim against the church, the defendant's nephew Kevin McGuire, a "puppet master" who brought other alleged victims together to concoct a story about McGuire. Jurors should take their time weighing a "classic reasonable doubt case," he said.

In her rebuttal argument, Assistant U.S. Atty. Julie Ruder said it was no wonder that some of the alleged victims in the case took time to come forward, calling defense attempts to spin the evidence pathetic.

None of the victims "fabricated a horrific story of abuse" in search of some payday, she said, they were in court testifying to get a measure of justice.

Besides, the name of this case was not Dominick vs. Donald McGuire, she told the jury. This was not civil court.

"This is the United States of America vs. Donald McGuire," she said. "We gave you corroboration for (Dominick)" in the form of other abuse victims.

Ruder called the case a nightmare for those victims and reminded the jury that the case was about years and years of McGuire's efforts to keep his perverse double life concealed.

"It is over," she said, her voice cracking with emotion. "It's in your hands."

The panel deliberated for about an hour late Thursday and was expected to resume its discussions Friday.


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