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October 11, 2009

McCormack to remain in custody

Daniel McCormack, a former Chicago pastor who was convicted of sexually abusing five young boys, has been transferred from a state correctional facility in Jacksonville to a locked mental health treatment center in Rushville, Ill., while state courts determine whether he can be held indefinitely as a “sexually violent person.”

In a statement released Sept. 23, the Archdiocese of Chicago said, “Daniel J. McCormack was laicized (removed from the priesthood) on Nov. 30, 2007 by decree of the Vatican. The archdiocese cooperated with the offices of the Cook County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide information on Mr. McCormack’s laicized status. Because Mr. McCormack is no longer a priest, the archdiocese has no civil or canonical authority over him.”

The statement goes on to read that “sex abuse of children is a deplorable sin and a crime. The archdiocese continues to reach out and work for the healing of all those affected by the tragedy of child and adolescent sexual abuse including those abused by McCormack.”

McCormack was serving as pastor of St. Agatha Parish on the West Side when he was arrested in 2006. The following year, he pleaded guilty to five felony counts of criminal sexual abuse involving boys ages 8 to 12 dating back to 2001. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

He was laicized after his conviction.

Illinois law allows sex offenders deemed to be “sexually violent” to be held in psychiatric facilities after serving their sentences. Both the Cook County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General asked that McCormack not be released into the community.

His court hearing has been set for Oct. 26.