Crime & Courts

Chicago clerics paid more than $80M to sex abuse victims, attorney says

Attorney Jeff Anderson speaks March 20 as Joe Iacono (left) and Cindy Yesko listen during a news conference in Chicago. Advocates for clergy abuse victims say their list of 395 priests or lay people in Illinois who have been publicly accused of sexually abusing children is far more extensive than the names already released by the state's six dioceses.
Attorney Jeff Anderson speaks March 20 as Joe Iacono (left) and Cindy Yesko listen during a news conference in Chicago. Advocates for clergy abuse victims say their list of 395 priests or lay people in Illinois who have been publicly accused of sexually abusing children is far more extensive than the names already released by the state's six dioceses.

Catholic church clergy members within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago have paid at least $80 million in settlement money to victims of sexual abuse, one law firm says.

Attorney Jeff Anderson announced the cumulative settlement amount Tuesday at a news conference in Chicago. Anderson also confirmed new settlements awarded to seven survivors of clergy abuse by five different offenders: The priests involved in the settlements include Daniel McCormack, John William Curran, Edward J. Maloney, Robert D. Craig and Robert E. Mayer.

Although Anderson previously released the names of each of the clergy members named in lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse, the attorney has never before disclosed the amount of money paid to the victims.

“The reason I didn’t reveal the numbers of the settlements that we make both in Chicago and across this country is I want these stories to be about the truth that hasn’t been revealed – the hazards that exists both past and present and that is the identity of the offenders and the practices employed by the institutions … that allowed it to occur,” Anderson said.

The settlements were paid to victims in 160 cases since 2001, Anderson said.

In March, Anderson’s law firm released a report that named 395 Catholic clergy members in Illinois accused of sexual misconduct – six of whom formerly worked in McHenry County.

The Diocese of Rockford had previously disclosed the names of four men: Harlan B. Clapsaddle, Mark A. Campobello, John C. Holdren and William I. Joffe. Names of two men – Al F. Harte and James Gaynor – who had worked in the Rockford diocese at some point were not publicly named until Anderson’s report.

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