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Former priest Daniel McCormack committed to state facility for sex offenders

Daniel McCormack file Photo by Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Former priest Daniel McCormack will remain indefinitely at a state facility for the mentally ill, a Cook County judge ruled on Wednesday.

McCormack will be confined to a detention facility in downstate Rushville, where he has been living since 2009, when he completed his sentence for molesting boys in the West Side parish where he worked as a priest, teacher and basketball coach.

Judge Dennis Porter last year ruled that McCormack was a “sexually violent person,” a designation that allows authorities to hold him at a secure facility even after serving out his prison term.

Wednesday, Porter ruled that McCormack should remain there until he is deemed to be at low-risk of offending again, and noted that to date, 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,” Porter said. “While he’s been following the rules while he’s been in the (Treatment and Detention Facility at Rushville)… he hasn’t had any treatment either. Seems to me that is significant when talking about his present condition.”

McCormack declined to speak in court Wednesday, and showed little reaction when Porter announced his ruling. The courtroom was largely empty.

McCormack will be eligible to have his status reviewed on an annual basis, though few offenders are released from the 500-person Rushville facility once they’ve been committed there.

McCormack has been the subject of dozens of allegations of abuse, including several that date to after his first arrest, after which Archdiocese of Chicago officials barred him from working with children or teaching.

An internal report by the archdiocese found 30 “substantiated” claims of abuse at the hands of McCormack, who was a parish priest at St. Agatha Church and teacher and basketball coach at Our Lady of West Side.

The archdiocese has paid out millions to settle lawsuits filed by victims who claim they were abused by McCormack.