At the Irish American Heritage Center, on the city's Northwest Side, John Gorski said the family of Natasha McShane wants to move on from a world of lawyers and court rooms and focus on McShane's recovery.
"I was relieved that this stuff was behind us," Gorski said. "It was a very stressful time for everyone in the courtroom and those who couldn't be there not only here but in northern Ireland and it was a relief personally."
Late Thursday evening, a jury reached a guilty verdict on all ten counts against Heriberto Viramontes for beating the Irish exchange student so badly with a bat, that Mcshane can't eat, talk or walk without help.
Her family from Northern Ireland is still here in the Chicago area Friday.
"I think the family is looking to move on and focus on Natasha," said Gorski. "The system worked, evidence was collected. Now we are focused on how we can move forward. It is another step in her recovery. Natasha knows what happened."
McShane is back in Ireland. The other victim in the Bucktown baseball bat attack, Stacy Jurich, spoke after the verdict was read. She's relieved that Viramontes will never be on the streets again, facing up to 120 years behind bars.
"There hasn't been a night that passed in three and a half years that I didn't wake up in a night terror reliving what happened," McShane said.
"Stacy stood there in court and faced this man as well. As much as she has been through, she helped her friend, she stayed and fought this man and got help," Gorski said. "She was brave."
Supporters have established an account at Signature Bank in Chicago to help fund McShane's medical needs. McShane's former employer, Butch McGuire's, and other businesses have also held fundraisers.
Viramontes's sisters still maintain that jurors convicted the wrong man. His girlfriend, who was with him during the attack, testified against him for a lighter sentence.
The Irish American Heritage Center will be holding a mass for McShane on Sunday. The auditorium fits about 650 people and folks there expect the seats to be filled.