SGGH and our strategic partners represent over a hundred survivors of abuse in Illinois. We have fought to hold religious institutions, including the Catholic church, accountable in Illinois and have settled numerous millions of dollars in Illinois sexual abuse matters.

In 2018, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released findings related to investigating six Catholic dioceses in the state.

Because decades often pass between the time when child sex abuse is committed and the time when it is reported, the window in which to bring a criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit has frequently closed by the time a survivor comes forward. In legal terms, when the statute of limitations has run, a survivor is left with little to no legal recourse. As a result, the public reckoning from investigations like this one may be the only form of justice afforded survivors. Bishop Conlon seemed to understand this when the Attorney General’s investigation was announced: “People are looking for accountability. Sometimes, it is hard to provide accountability for events that occurred years ago. The Illinois Attorney General’s recently announced inquiry into diocesan records…may help.”

Recognizing that “justice,” at least in terms of criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits, could be beyond reach for many survivors, the twin goals of the Attorney General’s investigation—an accounting of child sex abuse by Illinois clerics and providing voice to survivors—became paramount. From the outset of the investigation, the leaders of the Illinois Dioceses pledged full support and cooperation in assisting the Attorney General in achieving those goals. Each ultimately fulfilled their pledge, not only by providing access to records and representatives but by working with the Attorney General to improve the Illinois Dioceses’ policies and procedures relating to allegations of child sex abuse by members of the Catholic clergy. Through it all, Attorney General investigators examined thousands of diocesan child sex abuse claim files and more than 100,000 pages of diocesan documents, along with conducting countless interviews and meetings with diocesan representatives and their attorneys.

All told, the Attorney General’s investigation resulted in the Illinois Dioceses publicly listing an additional 231 substantiated Catholic cleric and religious brother child sex abusers across all dioceses.

In addition to the 334 clerics and religious brothers disclosed across the Illinois Dioceses, the Attorney General is publicly disclosing in this report 160 more clerics and religious brothers across five of the six Illinois Dioceses who both ministered in Illinois and have been substantiated by Catholic sources as child sex abusers, but who have not been disclosed as such by the Illinois Dioceses. Because some of these clerics and religious brothers ministered in more than one diocese, the total number of additional discrete child sex abusers is 149. These additional disclosures bring the total number of publicly disclosed substantiated child sex abusers across the Illinois Dioceses to 494:

Archdiocese of Chicago: 275; 

Diocese of Joliet: 69; 

Diocese of Belleville: 43;

Diocese of Peoria: 51;

Diocese of Rockford: 24; 

Diocese of Springfield: 32; 

Because some of these clerics and religious brothers ministered in more than one Illinois diocese, the total number of discrete child sex abusers is 451



Our attorneys and trial lawyers have decades of experience litigating and obtaining verdicts and settlements for clients all across the country for those who have been injured or have died.  Lawyers at SGGH have assisted in cases recovering more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for injured individuals.  Some of these results are record-setting in Illinois and around the country.  If you or a loved one experienced sexual abuse at the hands of a clergy member, please Contact SGGH Today for a Free Consultation at (312)728-7444 or contact us online.