Judge Seals DCFS Records in Child Abuse Case against Priest

The Associated Press, carried in Belleville News-Democrat
August 18, 2006

Chicago - A Cook County judge on Thursday sealed hundreds of pages of state documents related to child sex abuse allegations against a Chicago priest.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had asked the criminal judge if its documents were relevant in the case against the Rev. Daniel McCormack. DCFS officials had expressed concern about revealing sensitive information about juveniles if the documents were made more widely available.

In his ruling Thursday, Judge Thomas Sumner put a protective seal on the papers - prohibiting anyone not directly involved in the case from seeing them.

McCormack is charged with five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the alleged fondling of five boys at Our Lady of the Westside School and St. Agatha Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Westside School, Presentation Campus.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. With a conviction, each charge carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

DCFS turned over nearly 1,500 pages of reports in the investigation of the allegations, said Cook County assistant state's attorney Kathleen Muldoon.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has been criticized in the case because McCormack wasn't removed from his parish on the city's West Side until he first was charged in January - several months after one of the allegations was made against him.

McCormack is slated to appear in court again on Oct. 4.


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