Archdiocese to pay $3.15M to alleged McCormack victims

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - The Archdiocese of Chicago has reached settlements totaling $3.15 million with three alleged victims of convicted child molester and defrocked priest Daniel McCormack.

John M. Doe sued the Archdiocese in April 2015, claiming he was abused by McCormack on two occasions between 2000 and 2001 when he was 13 or 14, according to a statement from the victim’s attorney, Lyndsay Markley, announcing the settlement. The case was scheduled to go to trial in July.

John T. Doe, also represented by Markley, sued the Archdiocese in April 2015, alleging he was abused on more than one occasion between 2003 and 2005, according to the attorney.

Another plaintiff represented by Markley, John J. Doe, sued the Archdiocese in July 2015, alleging McCormack sexually abused him during his attendance at the after-school program “S.A.F.E.” at Our Lady of the Westside Catholic School on more than one occasion between 2003 and 2005.

All three lawsuits alleged the Archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George had credible information confirming McCormack’s unfitness to work with children as early as 1994, but allowed him to continue as a teacher, basketball coach and priest. The cases were settled on March 17.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Tunney-Ryan confirmed in an email that a settlement was reached, but said the Archdiocese does not comment on the details of settlements out of respect for the privacy of those involved.

McCormack was removed from the priesthood in November 2007 and pleaded guilty that year to abusing five children at St. Agatha’s. He was sentenced to five years in prison and has been held at a state-run mental health facility since his release from prison in 2009. He faced additional charges in 2014, but those were later dropped. McCormack is currently awaiting trial on whether he is a sexually violent person.

Another alleged McCormack victim reached a $2.3 million settlement with the Archdiocese earlier this year, the Sun-Times previously reported. Another settled for $1.25 million in May 2015, and a third reached a $3.2 settlement in January 2014.

Information about reporting sexual abuse can be found at www.archchicago.org under Protecting Children; by calling the Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review at (312) 534-5205 or (800) 994-6200; or calling the Office of Assistance Ministry at (312) 534-8267 or (866) 517-4528, according to Tunney-Ryan.

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