The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Four groups want pedophile priest permanently behind bars
Chicago's most notorious predator will be released in August
A prosecutor said he "molested almost every day" for months
Catholics and victims want Cardinal to help keep child molester locked up
Priest should be declared "sexually violent" and locked up after sentence expires, organizations say
WHAT: As Chicago’s most notorious pedophile priest prepares to leave prison next month, concerned Catholics and clergy sex abuse victims will hold a sidewalk news conference urging
The victims will also prod anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police immediately so he might be prosecuted again.
WHEN: Thursday, July 16, 11:15 a.m.
WHERE: Outside State of Illinois Building (headquarters of Attorney General) near corner of Clark & Randolph
WHO: 5-10 folks who are members of three local Catholic lay groups and/or one national victims' support group
VISUALS: The group will hold posters, childhood photos and a picture of the predator priest, and give copies of their letter to the Illinois Attorney General.
WHY: The priest involved is Fr. Daniel McCormack, 40, who plead guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced in 2007 to five years in prison. The groups involved include Call To Action, Voice of the Faithful, the Coalition of Concerned Catholics and SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. They're asking Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to try to get McCormack deemed "sexually violent" so he will remain in state custody even when his prison sentence ends next month. The groups fear McCormack - a young, charismatic, well-educated serial predator - will likely hurt other kids.
The organizations also want Chicago's top Catholic official, Cardinal Francis George, to join them in prodding state officials and helping them by immediately visiting McCormack's former work places and aggressively reaching out to others who saw, suspected or suffered the cleric's crimes. George has a special duty to do more, the groups say, because he repeatedly disregarded warning signs about McCormack and even promoted him after McCormack had been questioned by police about abuse accusations.
McCormack's crimes happened between 2001 and 2006 at St. Agatha Catholic Church and at Our Lady of the Westside Presentation School. The victims were between 8 and 12 years old. Assistant state's attorneys Shauna Boliker and Kathleen Muldoon helped prosecute McCormack. Several of the boys have filed and settled civil lawsuits against the archdiocese and McCormack. Most were represented by Chicago attorney Marc Pearlman (312-261-4554) and Minnesota attorney Jeff Anderson (612 817 8665 cell).
Nearly every high ranking archdiocesan staffer who ignored or concealed suspicions or knowledge of McCormack's crimes has since been promoted. The exception is the lone woman, Barbara Westrick, the former principal. She called police about allegations against McCormack. As a result, she says, she was fired.
Between his arrest and conviction, SNAP and others begged George to put McCormack in a secure treatment center. The Cardinal ignored their request.
McCormack is in a Jacksonville IL prison described by an expert as "looking like a college campus" with "a lot of programs and a lot of freedom."
Last year, another Chicago-area child molesting cleric, Fr. Fred Lenczycki of Joliet, became the first Illinois clergyman to be deemed a "sexually violent predator." Earlier this month, a Wheaton judge ruled that Lenczycki should be released to live in the community soon.
CONTACT: Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747 cell, David Clohessy 314-566-9790, Barbara Dorris 314-862-7688, Janet Hauter, 847-366-2761, Tony Jannotta 847-769-6287, Sandy Stilling Seehausen 847-462-0016.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests