Cook County Record

Friday, April 3, 2020

Court action alleges Catholic Church failed to protect boys from convicted sexual abuser priest Maday

By Dan Harkins | Jul 1, 2015


An unnamed Cook County man is suing the Chicago Archdiocese, alleging the church failed to protect young boys from sexual abuse at the hands of a since-convicted priest during the man's time as an altar boy at a Chicago Roman Catholic church.

John Doe filed a complaint June 8 in Cook County Circuit Court against the Catholic bishop of Chicago, the Archdiocese of Chicago and Norbert Maday, alleging negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, and battery.

According to the lawsuit, from 1964 to 1992, Norbert ministered at various Chicago area churches and at schools overseen by the church. Before and after being appointed to St. Bede Church in Chicago in 1977, Maday sexually abused minors, the lawsuit states, and the defendant should have known this.

The same holds true, the lawsuit states, when Maday was appointed from 1983 to 1989 to Our Lady of the Ridge Parish in Chicago Ridge, and to St. Jude the Apostle Parish in South Holland from 1989 to 1992. Before 1992, the defendant "never warned or notified the archdiocesan priests or other staff [or parents] that Maday should not be permitted to be alone with children or adolescents," the lawsuit states.

In 1994 Maday was convicted in Wisconsin of felony sexual assault involving minors and sentenced to 20 years in prison, the lawsuit states, and he served 13 years before being paroled. Incidentally, Maday was kept on the diocesan payroll during his incarceration and paid a $300 a month stipend, before the church defrocked him in 2007, according to the suit.

The plaintiff, who served as an altar boy at St. Bede Church during 5th grade while at St. Bede School, alleges Maday began sexually abusing him at that time, continuing the abuse from 1979 to 1982. The abuse occurred in various locations, such as the church's sacristy, Maday's bedroom in the rectory and other residences, as well as in Maday's car, the lawsuit asserts.

The lawsuit states Maday had minor boys sit on his lap while driving his car, set up a gaming system in his bedroom to lure boys there, provided alcohol to minor boys, showed minors pictures of naked adults, watched porn movies with them and shared his bed with them. According to the lawsuit, "the archdiocese did not employ reasonably sufficient procedures to prevent or minimize the risk of sexual contact between priests and minors."

The plaintiff seeks damages in excess of the court's jurisdictional limits, plus costs. He is represented by attorneys Paul E. Kelly and David L. King, of Kelly and King in Chicago, and attorneys Gregory T. Condon and William J. Leonard of Wang, Leonard and Condon in Chicago. 

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 15-L-5786.

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Organizations in this Story

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago