Chicago Judge allows for punitive damages in serial pedophile case

(Chicago) In a ruling announced today, Chicago Judge Jeffrey Lawrence said victims of serial pedophile Jesuit priest father Donald McGuire may seek punitive damages in their lawsuit against the priest and his Jesuit order.

Jeff Anderson, St. Paul, Minnesota-based clergy abuse attorney, who along with Chicago attorney Marc Pearlman represents the Plaintiffs, said “the justification for punitive damages in the case was based on Jesuits officials having been aware of McGuire’s sexual predatory behavior over a 40 year period but still allowed him to have free reign with access to children and we are very pleased that the judge agreed.”

Anderson said documents show that as recently as 2008, and for more than 46 years, Jesuit officials on three continents had at least 28 reports of suspicious behavior by McGuire. This is so current and comparable to the recent revelations of the Philadelphia Grand Jury that we are reminded once again that little has
changed.  I am as scared as I am sad that, because of the choices made by top Jesuit officials so many children
remained at grave risk,” Anderson said.

McGuire was ordained in 1961 and at one time assigned to the prestigious Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.  However, over the next 40 years he spent much of his time as a priest moving between Europe and the United States conducting “retreats.”   As early as 1962 the Jesuits learned that McGuire was suspected of having “much relations” with young boys.

Since 2007, attorneys for the Plaintiffs in this case have filed five separate lawsuits on behalf of six different victims against McGuire and the Jesuits in Cook County Circuit Court.  Three of the victims have settled their cases and therefore this motion is on behalf of the remaining three survivors.  Two other McGuire victims filed lawsuits in 2003 which have been settled.

McGuire, who was indicted for his crimes in Wisconsin, Illinois and Arizona, is currently serving a 25 year sentence in federal prison.

The Judges decision can be found at “Case Documents” on