Lake Zurich priest accused of sexually abusing minors while at Maryville Academy 25 years ago
By Elyssa Cherney
November 28, 2020
|Rev. David Ryan, when he was assistant executive director at Maryville Academy in 2003.|
The Archdiocese of Chicago says it is investigating allegations that a Lake Zurich priest sexually abused minors 25 years ago while he was assigned to Maryville Academy in Des Plaines.
The Rev. David Ryan, pastor at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish in Lake Zurich, was asked to live away from the parish during the investigation and “is fully cooperating with this directive,” the archdiocese said.
In a letter to the parish Saturday, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich wrote that he asked Ryan to “step away from ministry” after the archdiocese received the allegations. The archdiocese reported the allegations to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state’s attorney office, Cupich wrote.
A spokeswoman for the archdiocese declined to provide further details about the allegations, saying in an email, “We have nothing to add to what is in the letter.”
Attempts to reach Ryan were not successful Saturday night. His voicemail was still set up at St. Francis as of Saturday night but he did not return a message or an email sent to him seeking comment.
Ryan, who was ordained in Springfield in 1979, began working at Maryville in 1985 and was promoted to acting executive director in 2003, according to the Lake Zurich church’s website. Ryan previously served at a parish in Godfrey and as director for the Catholic Children’s Home in Alton.
Smyth died in April 2019. A lawsuit was filed against the archdiocese after Smyth’s death but the Des Plaines Police Department said it did not find any “credible” evidence against him.
A spokesman for the Des Plaines police did not respond to a request for comment Saturday about the allegations involving Ryan.
Ryan also serves on the Board of Governors for the City Club of Chicago, according to its website. A representative for the organization could not be reached Saturday.
DCFS did not respond to an inquiry Saturday night.