Moffat page disappears from Illinois sex offender information system
The most notorious sexual predator in the history of Chicago’s public schools system has disappeared from the Illinois Sex Offender data base, a Substance investigation revealed.
James Moffat, who was a personal friend of the Daley family when he served as Chicago’s Deputy Superintendent of Schools (Management Services) during the 1970s, was convicted of more than 30 counts of criminal sexual misconduct during a two month trial in January and March 1987. On March 23, 1987, Moffat was convicted of sexual crimes against five victims, four boys and one girl. All of the victims had been students at Kelvyn Park High School, where Moffat served as principal from 1980 until being removed from the school in March 1984 when investigations of allegations of sexual misconduct against him were lodge with both the Superintendent of Schools and with Cook County State’s Attorney (Richard M. Daley).
Despite his political influence, Moffat was finally indicted in 1985. He continued to receive his pay as a Chicago Public Schools administrator throughout the criminal trial.
Moffat was found guilty by Criminal Court Judge Francis Mahon on ten counts of indecent liberties with a child and 13 counts of official misconduct. The crimes involved sexual acts that took place at the school, often during school hours, with all five of the victims.
Moffat’s defense team included Anne Burke, who has since gone on the a position on the Illinois Supreme Court.
The Moffat case was not only important to Chicago because it showed that justice could be done, but also because it showed that with clout some of Chicago’s most powerful citizens could get away with rape — provided that the victims were carefully selected from the least powerful groups in the city.
Throughout the investigation that led to Moffat’s eventual indictment and then through the trial and even up to the sentencing, many of those who supported Moffat were convinced that he would never spend a day in jail because his power and influence were too great. Not only did his defense team consist of some of the most powerful people in Chicago, but Moffat’s supporters went out of their way to intimidate those who wanted him brought to justice.
After the Moffat conviction, Moffat’s supporters continued to hold powerful postiions in Chicago’s public schools and at the school system’s central office.