Former Maryville resident alleges he was a victim of academy leader

  • The Rev. John Smyth, who died earlier this year, has been accused of sexually abusing children during his time as leader of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines.

    The Rev. John Smyth, who died earlier this year, has been accused of sexually abusing children during his time as leader of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines. Daily Herald file photo, 2003

 
 
Updated 9/17/2019 6:46 PM

After six years as a ward of the state, Clarence George Jr. arrived at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, and thought perhaps he'd finally found a place where he could feel at home.

And the then-11-year-old had found a friend in the Rev. John P. Smyth, who ran the home for troubled kids.

 

"His approach was very soft-spoken," George, now 29, recalled Tuesday. "It was very easy for me at the time to deem him someone I could trust, someone I could talk to and confide in."

Instead, Smyth, who died earlier this year, sexually abused George on "multiple occasions" between approximately 2001 and 2004, according to a lawsuit filed this week in the Cook County.

•For the fulle report, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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