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Defrocked priest, convicted child molester released from custody nearly a month ago

Daniel McCormack was released Oct. 7 from a Rushville detention facility, the Illinois Department of Human Services confirmed.

Daniel McCormack walks out of the Cook County Criminal Courts building in 2006. McCormack was released from state custody Oct. 7.
Daniel McCormack walks out of the Cook County Criminal Courts building in 2006. McCormack was released from state custody Oct. 7.
John J. Kim/Sun-Times

Convicted child molester Daniel McCormack was released from custody last month, the Illinois Department of Human Services confirmed Tuesday.

McCormack, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five children while he was a priest at St. Agatha’s parish, was released Oct. 7 from the state’s Treatment and Detention Facility. He has since registered as a sex offender with the Illinois State Police and is listed as living in the Near North neighborhood.

McCormack’s release comes despite the fact that, in 2017, a Cook County judge ruled McCormack a “sexually violent person.” This set up the former priest for an indefinite stay at the state facility for sex offenders, where McCormack remained after serving his five-year sentence in 2009.

But in May of this year, an Illinois First District Appellate Court panel overturned the judge’s ruling that McCormack could be held beyond his sentence. The appellate court decided the prosecution failed to explain why McCormack had a substantial likelihood of reoffending.

Shortly after the appellate court’s decision, a spokeswoman from the attorney general’s office said they planned to bring McCormack’s case before the Illinois Supreme Court.

“We disagree with the appellate court’s decision and believe Daniel McCormack qualifies for commitment under the Sexually Violent Persons Act,” Annie Thompson said in May. “We intend to seek further review by the Illinois Supreme Court.”

In an email Tuesday, Thompson said on June 21, the attorney general’s office filed a petition for leave to appeal — which would have reversed the appellate court’s decision and kept McCormack in custody. That petition was denied by the state supreme court, Thompson said.