CHICAGO (CBS) — State prosecutors have asked a Cook County judge to declare a former priest sexually violent, and have him committed indefinitely to a state facility for sex offenders.
In 2007, Daniel McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five boys while he was a priest at two Chicago churches, and was sentenced to five years in prison. After his conviction, he was permanently removed from the priesthood.
McCormick completed his prison term in 2010, but has remained locked up in a detention facility for sex offenders, as prosecutors have sought to have him declared a “sexually violent person” under a controversial state law.
If a judge approves prosecutors’ request, McCormack would be held indefinitely at the state detention center in Rushville. More than 400 people have been locked up indefinitely under the state’s Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, and nearly 200 more cases including Mccormicks are pending.
Convicted sex offenders can be committed to a state facility if a court determines they committed a violent sex offense, and suffer from a mental disorder that makes them likely to offend again.
While McCormack has admitted to molesting five boys, several more have filed lawsuits against the former priest. The Chicago Archdiocese has determined at there were at least 30 substantiated claims of sex abuse against McCormack. The church has paid out millions to settle lawsuits from his victims, alleging the Archdiocese failed to protect children even after his first arrest in 2005.
One of the dozens of alleged victims who sued the Archdiocese sat down with CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov last year. The man, whose identity we are protecting, said the abuse happened when he was in 3rd grade.
“I didn’t really find anything wrong with it, or I didn’t know anything was wrong with it at the time, but as I got older it got worse,” he said.
If declared a sexually violent person, McCormack could not get out of a state detention facility until another evaluation determines he can be released.