CHICAGO — A former Chicago Roman Catholic priest deemed to be a sexually violent person on Wednesday was ordered committed indefinitely to an Illinois facility for sex offenders.
Daniel McCormack will be confined in a detention facility in Rushville, where he has been living since 2009. He completed a five-year sentence that year for molesting five boys in the West Side Chicago parish where he worked as a priest, teacher and basketball coach.
Cook County Circuit Judge Dennis Porter in a September trial found McCormack to be a sexually violent person. Prosecutors contended the 49-year-old McCormack would likely re-offend if he were set free.
“I can’t disregard the fact that he has never been of the belief that he has a problem,” Porter said in ordering McCormack committed indefinitely.
Porter noted that McCormack has refused to participate in treatment for sex offenders while in prison or at Rushville.
“This is something that doesn’t go away on its own,” the judge said.
McCormack declined to speak during Wednesday’s hearing, and showed little reaction when Porter announced his ruling. However, defense attorney Matthew Daniels said a strict release with GPS monitoring and professional help would have been enough.
“He’s not going to be able to coach because he’s not going to be allowed to be near any parks or schools,” Daniels said. “He’s not going to be allowed to teach because he’s not going to be allowed in a school.”
Barbara Dorris, former executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the decision by Porter was a good one.
“I think it is the start of recognizing the damage a child predator does and the fact that there is no, quote, cure for it,” she said.
While McCormack pleaded guilty to molesting five boys, court records show that more than two dozen boys and young men have alleged McCormack molested them in their youth, most notably at St. Agatha Parish in Chicago, where the then-young priest coached basketball, taught algebra and delivered eloquent sermons.
An internal report by the Archdiocese of Chicago found 30 “substantiated” claims of abuse at the hands of McCormack
The archdiocese has paid about $140 million to settle sex abuse claims, including those against McCormack.