Illinois wants ex-priest committed to facility for sex offenders

Illinois wants ex-priest committed to facility for sex offenders

Illinois wants ex-priest committed to facility for sex offenders

In this Feb. 2, 2006, file photo, ex-priest Daniel McCormack, left, leaves a Chicago court after being charged with sexually abusing a third boy at a Chicago parish. State prosecutors said the former Chicago priest should remain locked up at an Illinois facility for sex offenders. A judge is holding a hearing Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, on a request to have McCormack declared a sexually violent person. In 2007, McCormack pleaded guilty to molesting five boys and was sentenced to five years in prison. (Credit: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast.)

A former Chicago-area priest who pled guilty to molesting five boys, and whose crimes cost the Archdiocese of Chicago millions in compensation for victims, is facing the possibility of indefinite commitment to a state facility for sex offenders after prosecutors decided that it would be dangerous to release him when his prison term ends.

CHICAGO — A judge is holding a hearing this week to determine whether a former Chicago priest should remain locked up indefinitely at an Illinois facility for sex offenders.

Daniel McCormack would be a risk to children if released from the Rushville site, according to the attorney general’s office, which is acting under a little-used law.

In 2007, McCormack pleaded guilty to molesting five boys and was sentenced to five years in prison. Charges in a separate case were dropped in 2016 after the accuser declined to cooperate. The Archdiocese of Chicago has spent millions compensating victims, and more lawsuits are pending.

To have McCormack committed indefinitely, the state would have to prove that he has a mental disorder that makes it likely he would hurt someone again, said Maura Possley, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

A hearing begins Wednesday. McCormack’s attorney declined to comment on the case, and Possley told the Chicago Tribune that McCormack declined to be evaluated by experts hired by his lawyer.

In 2011, a psychiatrist, Dr. Angeline Stanislaus, said it was “substantially probable” that McCormack would act again.

Few at Rushville win their freedom. From 2013 to 2016, just 11 were officially discharged, and about 40 were put on conditional release in the community.

Marc Pearlman, a lawyer for people who say they were assaulted by McCormack, said it’s “absolutely appropriate” for the state to try to keep the ex-priest in custody.

“I’m not sure whether he’s ever taken full responsibility or accountability for the crimes he committed,” Pearlman said.

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