Reporting Regine Schlesinger
CHICAGO (CBS) – The lawyer for six men who accused a prominent Jesuit priest of sexually abusing them as children, said the approximately $3 million settlement for each victim is a small measure of justice in the case.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports attorney Jeff Anderson said the $19.6 million settlement in the case of defrocked and imprisoned Jesuit priest Donald McGuire finally holds his superiors to account for covering up his crimes “for decades of concealment, and choices made by top officials to protect themselves and their reputation, at the peril of these then young kids; now young men.”
Lawyers who worked out the settlement said, for 40 years, the Jesuits moved McGuire around the globe, in order to protect him and their reputations, at the risk of all the boys he went on to rape.
“The Jesuits chose to protect him,” Anderson said. He described the coverup as “a long and sordid history of concealment.”
Anderson said Jesuit officials started receiving reports in 1964 that McGuire was sexually abusing boys he took with him on retreats around the world.
“Each of them chose to ignore those warnings and/or those reports, and each chose rather to protect McGuire and their reputation,” Anderson said.
McGuire is serving a 25-year prison sentence after being convicted five years ago on federal charges of bringing a minor across state lines for sex. He also was convicted in 2006 of molesting two boys in Wisconsin in the 1960s.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus range in age from their 20s to their 40s, and claim McGuire abused them when they were children between 1975 and the early 2000s, Anderson said.
Some of the six plaintiffs were also victims in the criminal cases against McGuire.