$1.2 Million Settlement for Teen Alleging Chicago Priest Abused Him

By Manya A. Brachear
Chicago Tribune

December 18, 2008,0,4689016.story

Daniel McCormack case also gave boy's brother $2.5 million deal

A teenage boy and his mother will receive $1.2 million from the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago for sexual abuse the boy suffered at the hands of Daniel McCormack, a lawyer for the victims said Wednesday.

The agreement is the most recent settlement reached between the archdiocese and a victim of McCormack, the former pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church who pleaded guilty last year to fondling five boys ages 8 to 12 at the church. The victim in this settlement, however, was not part of the criminal case, lawyer Ken Cunniff said.

Cunniff said McCormack made advances toward the boy, then 14, once in August 2005 in public during a White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field. He also made advances in the church rectory and at Our Lady of the West Side School, Presentation campus, where McCormack coached him in basketball.

McCormack abused the boy's younger brother multiple times from late 2004 into 2005. The abuse continued after initial allegations against McCormack surfaced and the archdiocese assigned a monitor to supervise the priest. Both boys told their mother about the misconduct when McCormack was arrested and removed from the parish in January 2006. The younger brother received a settlement of $2.5 million in September.

The settlement announced Wednesday was the first for a case in which McCormack, who is no longer a priest, did not plead guilty. To prevent the victim from suffering through further court proceedings, the archdiocese came up with an unconventional approach, relying on a panel of retired Cook County judges to review allegations and evidence and recommend a settlement.

Evidence included a finding by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services that McCormack engaged in sexual exploitation. DCFS has found credible evidence that McCormack engaged in misconduct with 11 children.



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