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$3.15 million settlement reached in Archdiocese sex abuse lawsuit

A $3.15 million settlement has been reached in a sexual abuse claim of a victim who said he was abused by the then-Rev. Daniel McCormack, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to multiple counts of criminal sexual assault.

The victim filed the lawsuit in 2010 against the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George alleging that both failed to remove McCormack and allowed him access to children despite complaints that he had sexually abused minors, according to a news release from the victim's attorneys.

McCormack, who has since been defrocked, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual abuse in 2006 and later pleaded guilty to the crimes. McCormack was sentenced to five years in prison, and remains confined while a petition to keep him committed to state custody under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act is considered by a Cook County judge.

The victim in the suit said McCormack abused him while he was in eighth grade in 2002 at Our Lady of the West Side Catholic School. The abuse continued while he was in a junior and senior playing in a basketball league for McCormack, who pastor at St. Agatha's Parish and also a basketball coach, according to the complaint, according to the lawsuit. 

The suit claimed that the archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George failed to investigate numerous reports of sexual abuse surrounding McCormack and allowed him to coach minor boys amid the allegations.

"McCormack inappropriately sexually touched, hugged, rubbed and/or abused Doe," the suit said.

"We are pleased to have reached this settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to the victim and his family," said William F. Martin, one of the attorneys representing the victim. Martin has represented other victims in child sex abuse cases involving the Archdiocese of Chicago, along with Abels & Annes and Hilfman & Head, P.C. law offices.

The firms are representing several other victims in pending civil suit cases involving McCormack.

The Archdiocese of Chicago acknowledged the settlement late this morning and said the settlement was reached with the assistance of a mediator.

"The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee, to come forward," said a news release from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

dawilliams@tribune.com

Twitter: @neacynewslady

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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