Chicago Archdiocese to pay $3.15M settlement in abuse cases

CHICAGO (AP) — The Archdiocese of Chicago has reached settlements totaling $3.15 million with three men who say they were abused years ago by a defrocked priest convicted of child abuse.

The separate lawsuits alleged the archdiocese and then-Cardinal Francis George had credible information as early as 1994 confirming Daniel McCormack was unfit to work with children but allowed him to continue as a teacher, basketball coach and priest, the Chicago Sun-Times ( ) reported.

The lawsuits, filed in 2015, allege the abuse occurred between 2000 and 2005, including during an after-school program.

One man alleged he was he was abused by McCormack on two occasions between 2000 and 2001, when he was 13 or 14, and another alleged he was abused on more than one occasion between 2003 and 2005, according to attorney Lyndsay Markley.

The third man said McCormack sexually abused him during the after-school program “S.A.F.E.” at Our Lady of the Westside Catholic School on more than one occasion between 2003 and 2005.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Tunney-Ryan confirmed a settlement was reached but declined to comment on details.

McCormack was removed from the priesthood and pleaded guilty in 2007 to abusing five children at St. Agatha Catholic Church. He was sentenced to five years in prison. He has been held at a state-run mental health facility since his 2009 release.

Another person who alleged abuse by McCormack reached a $2.3 million settlement with the archdiocese earlier this year. Another person reached a $1.25 million settlement in May 2015, and a third settled for $3.2 in January 2014.