Pedophile Ex-priest's Release Held up

By Manya Brachear
Chicago Tribune
September 23, 2009,0,7196744.story

Officials to file petition to have Daniel McCormack civilly committed

Former priest Daniel McCormack will not be released from custody Friday, according to a spokeswoman for the Illinois attorney general's office.

The attorney general's and Cook County state's attorney's offices will file a petition Wednesday under the state's Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act to have McCormack civilly committed instead of paroled and released from custody as scheduled on Friday.

The act allows prosecutors to seek continued incarceration in a secure treatment facility if a psychological exam leads them to believe another sex crime is likely if the inmate goes free.

Cara Smith, deputy chief of staff at the attorney general's office, said the medical evaluation received in the last several days confirmed prosecutors' suspicions that McCormack fits the criteria for civil commitment based on the number of victims, his "offending pattern" and the fact that he molested a child after law enforcement brought him in for questioning regarding initial allegations.

Assistant State's Attorney Shauna Boliker said the fact that McCormack was so "brazen and brash to offend while he was being looked at" convinced her he needed to stay locked up. Attorney General Lisa Madigan agreed.

Smith said: "The sexually violent persons program is designed to keep communities safe from sexually violent sex offenders. We felt strongly that in this case, civil commitment needed to be sought."

In July 2007, McCormack pleaded guilty to five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was given five years in prison.

McCormack fondled five boys between ages 8 and 12 in St. Agatha Catholic Church's rectory, misconduct that dated to 2001. Some victims were members of the basketball team he coached at nearby Our Lady of the West Side School. Other victims were friends of boys who attended the school, where McCormack also taught algebra.

Two audits commissioned by the Chicago archdiocese later found a trail of abuse allegations dating to McCormack's seminary days in 1988, all of which the archdiocese had failed to investigate properly. They found that although a priest had been assigned to monitor McCormack at St. Agatha, he still had contact with children. Since the audit, the archdiocese has centralized procedures for handling sex-abuse allegations. McCormack has been removed from the priesthood.



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