This week's sexual abuse allegation against Chicago-area pastor Michael W. O'Connell has raised a number of questions about the Archdiocese of Chicago's standing sexual misconduct response, as well as about the general rights of clergy sex abuse survivors in Illinois.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Rev. O'Connell has left the Lakeview Roman Catholic parish and voluntarily stepped away from day-to-day duties as pastor after a single allegation of sexual misconduct was reported to the Archdiocese of Chicago.
The case will be investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Cook County State's Attorney's office, and the Archdiocesan Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review.
Attorney Mark Brown, a partner at the Law Offices of Lane & Lane, has two decades of experience handling sexual abuse cases, both as a plaintiff's civil litigation attorney and as a lawyer at Lane & Lane since 2002.
Brown has been quoted as stating that “Whether or not Rev. O'Connell is guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor, this incident is an important reminder to all Chicago families and all survivors of sexual abuse. Parents should be aware that sexual abuse can take place anywhere, from their children's church, to their school, to their daycare center. Survivors should know that in many instances in Illinois, they can pursue sexual abuse cases many years after the incidents occurred.”
Attorney Brown is currently handling several claims involving sexual abuse of a minor in Illinois. Some of the entities involved include another Chicago Archdiocese clergy case, the Boy Scouts of America, and a Chicago-area Buddhist Temple. To learn more about sexual abuse lawsuits or the above cases, please visit the Lane & Lane website. http://www.lane-lane.com/practice_areas/child-sex-abuse-lawyers-chicago-sexual-abuse-of-minor.cfm