Police have launched an investigation after the Archdiocese of Chicago earlier this month announced new allegations of child sexual abuse involving a Lake Zurich church pastor.
Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, wrote in a letter to the community at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish in Lake Zurich on September 17 announcing a new investigation into Father David F. Ryan.
The archdiocese received two allegations the day prior to the letter regarding sexual abuse of minors, the letter said.
Cupich said the allegations were reported to “civil authorities” and assistance will be offered to the persons who made them.
Ryan was asked to step aside until an independent review board can investigate the abuse report and present their recommendations.
“He has agreed to cooperate fully with our process, which will move forward as expeditiously as possible. We will provide Fr. Ryan with pastoral assistance, and I know he is grateful for your support,” Cupich said.
“We have appreciated your patience with this process in the past and your understanding that only with an impartial and thorough effort can we fulfill our duty to protect the young people in our care and, if the investigation warrants, restore the good name of the one so accused,” Cupich added.
The Des Plaines Police Department announced this week that they are investigating the allegations.
The first victim, a woman now in her late 40s, reported that Ryan groped her while she was a resident at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines in the mid-1980s.
The second victim, a man now in his 30s, also reported that Ryan fondled him while he was a resident at Maryville Academy in the early 2000s.
In November 2020, Ryan was accused of sexually abusing minors in the mid-1990s while he was assigned to the Maryville Academy.
Ryan was asked to step down as pastor but was reinstated in September 2021 after the initial allegations were deemed unfounded.
The archdiocese concluded there was insufficient reason to suspect Ryan had committed child sexual abuse, Cupich said at that time.
Ryan’s return was delayed days later after new evidence was brought forward. He was once again cleared after that.