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Convicted priest facing new allegations

--- Accuser says he was abused four years ago

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Aug. 23, 2007, 4:14 p.m.)

Listen to audio of Mike Heine's report

Read the lawsuit filed in Cook County, Ill., against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire.

Read the petition to revoke McGuire's bond filed in Walworth County Court.

A Jesuit priest convicted of nearly 40-year-old child molestation charges from incidents occurring in Fontana had new allegations surface against him.

A civil suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday says the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, 77, may have molested a boy as late as 2003, according to a complaint.

The suit says McGuire started abusing the plaintiff, then a 13-year-old boy, in 1999 when he stayed with McGuire at the Canisus House, Jesuit residence in Evanston, Ill. The suit accuses McGuire of molesting the boy in six countries and 12 states, including Wisconsin.

Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss, who prosecuted McGuire for fondling two boys at a Fontana home in the late 1960s, said he is considering filing new charges.

The complaint doesn't say where the alleged abuse occurred in Wisconsin, but Koss said one of the plaintiff's attorneys told him it happened in Walworth County between 1999 and 2003. He did not have further details.

McGuire was convicted last year of five counts of indecent behavior with a child. Judge James Carlson sentenced him to seven years in prison and 20 years probation, but his prison sentence was postponed pending an appeal.

Koss filed a motion Wednesday asking to revoke McGuire's bond and start his prison sentence immediately. The motion will be heard Thursday, Sept. 6.

He was originally ordered to stay at a Jesuit nursing home in Waukegan, Ill., after being sentenced but was soon evicted. The home does not allow convicted felons to stay there.

McGuire was ordered back to Wisconsin and he stayed temporarily at a Lake Geneva hotel. But that was just blocks away from a Catholic school, causing outrage among neighbors and the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

He has been jailed twice for probation violations, but has since been allowed to stay in Illinois while the appeal continues. He was not ordered immediately to prison because he was not considered a threat to children.

These allegations change that, Koss said.

"This raises the issue for the judge to reconsider bond," Koss said. "I agree there is not enough yet to file a criminal complaint."

Koss said he hopes to speak to the plaintiff soon to gather more information.

McGuire is living in a private home in Oak Lawn, Ill., according to the Chicago Tribune.

The civil lawsuit was filed by a now-21-year-old college student who lives in Virginia. He and McGuire allegedly shared a bedroom at the Jesuit home and traveled the world together on spiritual retreats, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff went to live with McGuire and the Chicago Jesuits with the permission of his mother. McGuire was to be a spiritual mentor to the family, according to the complaint.

The Cook County State Attorney's Office told the Tribune it wasn't aware of the allegations until Tuesday when it was notified by one of the plaintiff's lawyers.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Providence of the Society of Jesus said the order's attorney faxed two letters to the prosecutor's office in February when the student came forward in January, according to the Tribune.

The spokesperson also doubted the recent allegations against McGuire.

"It is highly unlikely that a minor or a non-Jesuit would be living in a Jesuit residence in any capacity," Jeremy Langford told the Chicago Sun Times.

McGuire has had throngs of supporters at his criminal court hearings in Wisconsin. McGuire was once a spiritual advisor to Mother Teresa and was well respected within the church.

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