The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Hearing set for notorious predator priest
He wants court appearances to be held in secrecy
Clergy sex abuse victims argue proceedings should be open
They’re disappointed Catholic officials have been silent about controversy
The issue: should recent pedophile be kept locked up as “sexually violent person”
What: Before and after a court hearing about Chicago’s most notorious predator priest, clergy sex abuse victims will be available for interviews
The hearing will focus on whether the proven predator will
When: Wednesday, Nov 4, before and after 10:00 a.m. Hearing
Where: Hearing in Room 606, Cook County Court, Judge Porter, 26th & California (Speak to press on 1st floor)
Who: Two or three members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) including the organization’s founder and president
Why: The Attorney General and Cook County State’s Attorney are trying to have former archdiocesan priest Daniel McCormack committed as a “sexually violent person.” In response, McCormack's lawyers are arguing that any hearings on the matter should be held in secrecy.
McCormack, now in his early 40s, pled guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced in 2007 to five years in prison. According to prosecutors, he molested kids on “an almost daily basis.”
A few months ago, SNAP and other groups asked 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. The organizations fear McCormack - a young, charismatic, well-educated serial predator - will likely hurt other kids.
The groups 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 has been 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.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests