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Former priest Daniel McCormack still a ‘sexually violent person,’ judge rules

CHICAGO -- A Cook County judge ruled Friday that former priest Daniel McCormack is still a "sexually violent person."

That means McCormack can be held indefinitely in a state mental institution, even though he’s already served his criminal sentence.

Glenn Guth, an attorney who represented 10 of McCormack's victims, all of whom reached settlements with the Chicago Archdiocese, was in court to witness the outcome.

“I wanted some closure for myself, I wanted to see that Daniel McCormack got justice," he said.

For a decade, McCormack served as a priest in archdiocese at St. Agatha’s Church on the West Side and other parishes in the city.

In 2007, he pleaded guilty to molesting five boys, and was sentenced to five years in prison. He was paroled in 2009, but has been held in a mental institution ever since.

"It’s not often in the practice of law that you have to experience the type of personal abuse of nature perpetrated against young men – and that is extremely troubling," Guth said.

At a bench trial Friday, during closing arguments, prosecutors argued that he was a substantial risk to re-offend.

The 48-year-old was defrocked, being accused of abusing more than a dozen other children.

McCormack's abuse allegedly began in the 1990s, and was carried out in a number of places, from the basement of the rectory, to the classroom to even a White Sox game.

The judge said without treatment, he believed McCormack could abuse children again and added he had “no reasonable doubt” that he would.

McCormack has refused treatment for his diagnosed mental health issues – both pedophilia and personality disorder – and the judge said without treatment and improvement, McCormack won’t likely be released.

"I think this is the best process for us and the community to have him put away," Guth said.