Chicago Archdiocese Settles Sex Abuse Suit for $3.2M

February 3, 2014

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and a lawyer for an alleged sexual abuse victim of a former priest announced Thursday that they have reached a $3.2 million settlement.

The lawsuit by the plaintiff, who hasn’t been identified, accused the archdiocese of failing to promptly remove Daniel McCormack after claims he abused children had emerged. Plaintiff attorneys say their client was abused as a boy between the eighth and 11th grades.

“We are pleased to have reached this settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to the victim and his family,” attorney William F. Martin said in a statement.

The archdiocese noted the settlement was reached with help from a mediator.

“The Archdiocese continues to encourage the use of alternatives to litigation to resolve claims of sexual misconduct in a just, fair and compassionate manner,” it said. “The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee, to come forward.”

McCormack pleaded guilty in 2007 to abusing five children. He was sentenced to five years in prison and removed from priesthood. He’s currently confined to a state mental health facility.

Thousands of pages of internal documents recently released by the archdiocese showed it helped hide the sexual abuse of children to contain a growing crisis.

The documents, released through settlements between attorneys for the archdiocese and victims, describe how priests for decades were moved from parish to parish while the archdiocese hid the clerics’ histories from the public, often with the approval of the late Cardinals John Cody and Joseph Bernardin.

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