Source AP ©

Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty of aggravated criminal sexual abuse

A Roman Catholic priest accused of fondling young boys in Chicago pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced to five years in prison.

The Rev. Daniel McCormack, 38, was accused of abusing five boys between the ages of 8 and 12 years old in the rectory of St. Agatha Catholic Church where he served as parish priest.

McCormack also was an algebra teacher and boys' basketball coach at the nearby Our Lady of the Westside School's two campuses. Some victims were members of the basketball team; others were friends of boys who attended the school, according to prosecutors.

McCormack was sentenced to five years in prison for each count, but the sentences will be served concurrently.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago drew intense criticism over its handling of the case. He was not removed from the West Side parish and school until he first was charged in January 2006 several months after one of the allegations was made against him.

Cardinal Francis George conceded he failed to act soon enough in the case and launched an eight-month internal church investigation that found that procedures for removing priests from the ministry are "far from perfect."