Prosecutors ‘forced’ to drop charges against predator priest

SHARE Prosecutors ‘forced’ to drop charges against predator priest

Cook County prosecutors Wednesday said they were forced to drop an aggravated criminal sexual abuse charge against a convicted child molester and defrocked Catholic priest because the alleged victim was reluctant to cooperate.

Daniel McCormack, who is at a state-run mental health facility pending a hearing on whether he is a sexual deviant person, wasn’t in court before Judge Dennis Porter.

Neither was the alleged victim of the 2005 incidents.

McCormack, 47, was sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2007 to abusing five other children while a parish priest at St. Agatha Catholic Church.

Two years ago, he was charged in the other case involving another minor boy who attended the same West Side church, in the 3100 block of West Douglas

The boy, then a 10-year-old parishioner in an after-school program, said McCormack hugged and fondled him after taking him to a White Sox game.

Another time, prosecutors said, McCormack fondled the boy after inviting him to his room in the rectory to watch television.

Prosecutors on Wednesday called out to see if anyone representing the alleged victim was in court. When no one responded, they told Porter they were moving to dismiss the charge.

“The victim in this case went to police and made a complaint and after reviewing the facts and circumstances, the state’s attorney’s office brought charges in good faith. However, as the case has progressed through the courts, the victim has chosen not to cooperate with the prosecution,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

“As a result, the state’s attorney’s office was forced to dismiss the charges this morning.”

Earlier this month, another Cook County judge ruled that one of McCormack’s alleged victims will be able to seek punitive damages against the Archdiocese of Chicago at trial — allowing other victims the opportunity to do the same and effectively offering jurors the chance to punish the archdiocese for McCormack’s actions.

The archdiocese has paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits by those who said they were abused by McCormack.

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