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$1.25M settlement in sex abuse suit against Archdiocese, McCormack

The Archdiocese of Chicago has reached a $1.25 million settlement with a man who claimed he was sexually abused by convicted child molester and former priest Daniel McCormack.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Eugene Hollander, announced the settlement Monday, saying “while it has been a difficult journey, my client refused to suffer in silence.”

The $1.25 million settlement was reached over the weekend, Hollander said. The case had been scheduled to go to trial later this month.

The plaintiff, now in his 20s, claimed McCormack repeatedly abused him when he was in the fourth and fifth grades at St. Ailbe parish on the South Side, according to a statement from Hollander.

The plaintiff said he had suppressed the memories of abuse, but started to remember what happened in 2011 after seeing news coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, the statement said.

Hollander said his client is still in therapy to cope with the abuse, and “every aspect of my client’s life has been affected. My client’s childhood was taken away.”

McCormack was arrested in 2006 and later sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five other children at St. Agatha Catholic Church on the West Side, the Chicago Sun-Times previously reported.

He faces a new set of criminal charges filed in 2014, this time for an alleged 2005 incident involving a minor boy, also at St. Agatha.

McCormack was removed from the priesthood in 2007. He has been staying at a state-run mental health facility since his release from prison.

The state is seeking to declare McCormack a sexually violent person, and the next hearing in that case is scheduled for May 28, court records show.

In a statement, the Office of the Archdiocese said it acknowledges the settlement and is “committed to the help and healing of victims of abuse.”

“In the more than two decades of its operation, the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth has touched more than 600,000 individuals with its screening, education and prevention programs. Importantly, more than 200,000 children have been trained to recognize and resist sexual predators and other potential abusers,” the statement said.