Chicago, IL – The Archdiocese of Chicago has reached a $1.2 million settlement in a church sexual abuse lawsuit filed by a man who was abused as a child by disgraced former priest Daniel McCormack (pictured). The unnamed plaintiff was only 12 years old in 2005 when he attended an after-school program at St. Agatha’s parish in Lawndale, a program ironically called S.A.F.E. The boy was anything but safe in Daniel McCormack’s care, who abused him multiple times. Nor was he the only victim. The Archdiocese of Chicago was aware of several complaints against the priest, but like in so many other cases, the Catholic Church turned a blind eye and allowed him to continue to be involved in children’s programs. 

Years later, Daniel McCormack pleaded guilty to abusing children. Only 5, he insisted, although there were five times as many complaints against him. In 2009, he was sentenced to five years in prison. After spending some time in a mental health facility, McCormack is now free, but there are several other civil lawsuits against him.

No remorse

Earlier this year, he was called to testify in one of the lawsuits. There are only sketchy details about the deposition, as the judge issued a protective order so those involved in the lawsuit are not allowed to speak.

All that is known is that McCormack did not deny the allegations against him and invoked the 5th Amendment. One thing is clear, though. He doesn’t regret a thing.

He had a very flat demeanor. I didn’t see any emotion from him. I just didn’t see any remorse. Some of these victims went through unspeakable horrors,” one of the attorneys involved in the case told the press.

As for the Archdiocese of Chicago, it will probably continue to pay large sums of money to avoid other trials. However, church representatives insist that all these settlements do not represent an admission of guilt.

The Catholic Church is not the only one to settle sexual abuse cases. A couple of weeks ago, the Chicago Episcopal diocese agreed to pay $750,000 to a man who was abused as a teenager by Richard Kearney, a priest who at the time was running a parish in Oregon, Illinois. 

How is church sexual abuse defined?

Church sexual abuse includes any type of “unwanted sexual contact such as inappropriate touching, fondling, use of pornography, sexually suggestive activities, nakedness and sexual assault”. If you were molested by a religious figure such as a priest, rabbi, pastor or other member of the clergy, you need to talk to an experienced Chicago sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible. 

All that you tell your lawyer is absolutely confidential. If you don’t want to go public, your lawyers will keep your identity secret. You can file a lawsuit under John Doe. The important thing is that you unburden your heart and show these monsters for what they are.

When you talk to seasoned Illinois sexual abuse lawyers they will tell you how much your claim is worth based on their professional experience and legal precedents. If need be they will put you in contact with a mental health expert. Reliving those childhood memories can be very painful, but it’s a necessary part of the healing process.

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