5 NBC Chicago
The Roman Catholic Church has settled a case involving a priest accused of sexually abusing a young boy at a Chicago parish. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
The Roman Catholic Church has settled a case involving a priest accused of sexually abusing a young boy at a Chicago parish.
The archdiocese has agreed to pay the now 20-year-old man $2.3 million in the case involving former priest Daniel McCormack, which was scheduled to go to trial in the spring.
The church also agreed to release their records in the case, along with the records of 30 other cases involving Catholic priests.
“There is no closure for this community and the safety of the kids until all the secrets of the past are revealed,” attorney Jeff Anderson said.
McCormack is currently behind bars and listed as a sexually violent predator after pleading guilty in 2007 to sexually abusing boys at St. Agatha Parish where he was the pastor.
A year later the archdiocese reached a $12.6 million settlement with 16 survivors of clergy sexual abuse, two of whom claim to have been molested by McCormack.
In 2011, the archdiocese agreed to pay $3.2 million to another man, who was abused by McCormack between the ages of 10 and 12.
More victims could still come forward.
“He, and all the other men and woman who have broken the silence and have the courage to take on the Archdiocese, expose their offenders and do something to protect other kids in the community,” attorney Jeff Freeman said.
When the records in the cases against McCormack and the others are released, attorneys say it’s possible that criminal cases could be brought against those who knowingly hid abusive priests within the Catholic Church.
“We are going to do everything in our power to honor these survivors in these settlements, that the Archdiocese has pledged when we made these settlements. If not, we will sue them again,” Freeman said.
The Chicago Archdiocese released a statement Tuesday confirming that is has reached multiple victims of sexual abuse over the past two years. Officials say most of the cases discussed Tuesday are several decades old, and that no priest with even one credible allegation of abuse is in active ministry.
Church officials say they are cooperating with the attorneys on preparing the records for not only the 30 agreed-upon cases, but also another 30 cases as well.
The records are expected to be released in January.