New criminal charges have been filed against Chicago priest Daniel McComack by the Illinois Attorney General this week. McCormack is currently being held in a mental health facility after having been paroled last September. The now 41 year old defrocked priest served two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2001. He was paroled last September, but the Cook County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General filed petitions under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act to block his complete release.
The charges against McCormack date back to 2001 when the priest was a teacher and basketball coach at Our Lady of the Westside School (now St. Agatha Academy). Prosecutors in the original criminal case claimed that McCormack was abusing young boys at the school on a nearly daily basis. The abused boys were reportedly between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. McCormack was finally removed as a pastor when formal charges were filed in 2001. A child safety review that was performed after McCormack’s initial arrest uncovered evidence that the internal abuse investigation performed by the Archdiocese was mishandled. The archdiocese has now put a new monitoring program into place.
The atrocities suffered at the hands of McCormack’s victims are extremely upsetting. Sexual abuse victims’ advocate attorney Joseph G. Klest is a pioneer in the fight for victim’s rights in Illinois. Attorney Klest, whose family is from Douglas Park, helped draft the current statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims in Illinois. He was also selected to sit on a panel addresing the abuses committed by the now defrocked McCormack. To speak with attorney Klest, please click here.