CHICAGO — A judge has breathed new life into a priest sexual abuse case that has dogged the Archdiocese of Chicago for a decade.
Cook County Circuit Judge Clare McWilliams ruled Tuesday that those who were sexual abuse victims of former priest Daniel McCormack after September 2000 can seek punitive damages from the archdiocese if their lawsuits proceed to trial.
McWilliams found it reasonably likely that victims' attorneys could prove the archdiocese "showed utter indifference" to children's safety because it ordained McCormack despite knowing he'd engaged in sexual misconduct.
McCormack pleaded guilty in 2007 to abusing five children and was sentenced to five years in prison.
In a statement, the archdiocese said it was "disappointed in the ruling" and would respond to it in court.