Archdiocese Settles Priest Abuse Suit for $3.2 Million
By MaryAnn Ahern
January 30, 2014
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has settled a civil lawsuit filed in connection with the sexual abuse of a boy by a former priest.
The $3.1 million settlement Daniel McCormack and a 25-year-old man who was 13 at the time of the abuse.
The boy met McCormack at St. Agatha's Church.
"He came from a difficult family and gravitated toward St. Agatha and Father McCormack because Father McCormack was his basketball coach, his friend, his priest, his mentor," attorney William Martin said.
Attorneys say the abuse took place over a period of four years. The accused the archdiocese of failing to promptly remove Daniel McCormack after claims he abused children had emerged.
The negotiated settlement comes after more than a three year court fight.
"The Archdiocese does vigorously defend these cases, and they do really put these kids through another trial by fire, but it's important that some of these victims are willing to go through that," attorney Gary Annes said.
The Archdiocese released the following statement:
"The Archdiocese continues to encourage the use of alternatives to litigation to resolve claims of sexual misconduct in a just, fair and compassionate manner," it said. "The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee, to come forward."
Last week, the attorneys representing victims from 30 Chicago-area priests released secret church files documenting what church leaders knew about abuse dating back more than 50 years.
This settlement is a big part of the healing process for this individual. He's gone through a lot of counseling, he's getting a lot of help. the case is over but it isn't over for him," attorney David Abels said.
Attorneys have seven other cases pending involving McCormack.
The leaders of the Survivors Network of Those Abuse by Priests (SNAP) reacted to the settlement by saying they applaud it, but hope one of the McCormick cases goes to trials so that all of the secrets are revealed.
McCormack pleaded guilty in 2007 to abusing five children. He was sentenced to five years in prison and removed from priesthood. He's currently confined to a state mental health facility.