Until 2003, He Lived With and Molested a Teenager Hundreds of Times
Nine Months Ago, Crimes Were Reported To Nation’s Largest Religious Order, yet No Church Official Ever Called Police, Even Though Predator Was Convicted and Walks Free
Both Molester and Top Jesuits Can & Should Be Prosecuted, Victims’ Self Help Group Believes
Case Shows That “Almost Nothing Has Changed” in The Way Child Sex Crimes Are Handled by Church, They Say
Just four years ago, one of America’s highest-profile priests was living with and repeatedly molesting a teenager, according to a new civil lawsuit being filed today and discussed at a news conference.
It also charges that top officials with the Jesuits, the world’s largest and most prominent Catholic religious order, received a formal, documented complaint from the victim, but have failed to report these crimes to law enforcement for the past nine months.
The cleric was criminally convicted of sexually assaulting two different victims in 2006, but remains free in the Chicago area pending his appeal.
Today, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 1:00 p.m.
Kerns, Frost & Pearlman
70 West Madison; Suite 5350
Chicago, IL 60602
Attorneys who represent the now 21-year-old victim, another man who was abused by the same priest, and several clergy sex abuse victims who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
Fr. Donald McGuire is one of the world’s most widely-known priests, having been Mother Teresa’s spiritual advisor, spoken at dozens of schools and led hundreds of retreats across the globe. He is also the most high-profile Catholic priest to ever be criminally convicted for sexually abusing kids.
In 1999, McGuire began living with and molesting a then 13 year-old boy at Canisius House, a Jesuit residence in Evanston where McGuire lived with other Jesuit priests. McGuire repeatedly abused the youngster until 2003, when a different victim filed a civil molestation lawsuit against the priest and the Jesuits.
Today’s lawsuit claims the Jesuits and other church officials received reports of and have known that McGuire was sexually assaulting boys for at least 30 years before this young victims began being molested in 1999. This youngster reported his abuse to Jesuit officials in January of this year. No one in the church hierarchy, however, has reported the abuse to law enforcement in IL or WI. (The victim’s attorneys have reported McGuire’s crimes to criminal authorities.)
In Feb. 2006, McGuire was found guilty of molesting two boys in Elkhorn, Wisconsin in the 1960s. The judge is allowing McGuire to remain free pending his appeal.
The victims in the criminal case testified that they were also repeatedly abused at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL where they were students and where McGuire taught from 1965-70.
These victims settled their civil molestation suits against McGuire and the Jesuits in 2007.
McGuire, an Oak Park native who is now 77, lives in Chicago’s Oak Lawn neighborhood. Last year, he was jailed twice for violating terms of his probation
McGuire was represented in his criminal case by attorney Gerald P. Boyle of Milwaukee.
The victim in today’s lawsuit is now 21 and no longer lives in Illinois.