Jury Will Decide Sexually-Abusive Former Priest's Fate

Dan McCormack will remain in a secure treatment facility until jury decides whether he'll be labeled a Sexually Violent Person

By Anthony Ponce and BJ Lutz
|  Friday, Jan 22, 2010  |  Updated 2:46 PM CDT
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A defrocked priest and convicted sex offender will remain in a secure treatment facility until a jury decides whether he will remain incarcerated until Illinois' Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The law allows judges to keep sexual offenders locked up in a secure treatment facility until they are deemed to no longer be a threat to the public.

"We think it's a good day for Illinois because at least for the moment, Dan McCormack will still be held and he can't abuse any children while he's being held," said Barbara Blaine, the national president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Dr. Angeline Stanislaus, a psychiatrist who specializes in evaluating and treating sex offenders, testified that McCormack meets the criteria for a Sexually Violent Person. She also testified that McCormack had received no sex offender treatment in the community or during his time in prison.

"He was given a lot of trust and he abused that trust," said Dr. Stanislaus. "It is substantially probable that he will engage in other sexual events."

A clinical psychologist later refuted that claim and said McCormack wasn't likely to re-offend.

Ultimately, Judge Dennis Porter sided with the state because McCormack had abuse boys even after being under investigation.

McCormack sat silently, wearing blue jeans and a gray collared shirt during the hearing.   He served just two years of a five-year sentence for sexually abusing five boys between ages 8 and 12 at St. Agatha Catholic Church. 

A judge in November denied McCormack's request to close the courtroom and seal the records in his detention hearing.

No date has been set for the jury trial, but another hearing in the case was scheduled for March 2.

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