May 12, 2006

Moms Say Archdiocese Ignored Abuse Allegations


CHICAGO -- The mothers of two victims of alleged sexual abuse by a Chicago priest are seeking to have their lawsuits expanded to include punitive damages against the Archdiocese of Chicago for allegedly ignoring reports of abuse and failing to report them to police, according to a release from the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The mothers, who are not named in the suits, claim church officials “repeatedly violated criminal statutes” by not reporting to police suspected child abuse by the Rev. Daniel McCormack and by ignoring at least four reports of abuse, according to the newly amended civil child molestation pleadings filed Thursday.

Some of those reports of sex crimes, both verbal and written, date back to the late 1980s, when McCormack was still in the seminary, attorney Marc Pearlman said in the release.

McCormack currently faces five criminal charges, including new ones issued last week in which prosecutors claim he sexually abused one young boy on a daily basis from September 2005 through January 2006, despite being monitored by a fellow priest, who didn’t live in the same parish, the release said.

The amended filing claims the Archdiocese “was utterly indifferent to the rights of countless children and families,” Pearlman said in the release.

Posted by kshaw at May 12, 2006 07:06 AM