Former cardinal charged with sexually assaulting teenager in 1970s

Former cardinal charged with sexually assaulting teenager in 1970s
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Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a teenager during a wedding reception in 1974.

McCarrick, who was defrocked by Pope Francis and others in the Vatican due to allegations of sexual misconduct, was charged with indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14, according to documents filed in the Dedham District Court in Massachusetts.

The announcement makes McCarrick the first U.S. cardinal to be charged criminally for a sexual crime against a minor, according to Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer for church sexual abuse victims who is representing the man who alleged abuse by McCarrick.

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The 91-year-old's unnamed victim said McCarrick groped him when he was 16 years old during a 1974 wedding event at Wellesley College before the then-cardinal sexually assaulted him in a "coat room type closet," investigators alleged.

The purported assault occurred after the man's father asked McCarrick to have a chat with his son because he was "being mischievous at home and not attending church," the Associated Press reported.

McCarrick told the victim to "say three Our Fathers and a Hail Mary or it was one Our Father and three Hail Marys, so God can redeem you of your sins" after the attacks, according to the report.

A lawyer for the former religious leader told the outlet they look "forward to addressing the case in the courtroom."

Garabedian, an attorney who gained prominence for representing victims of clergy-related sexual assaults, awaits a "fair verdict" on the matter, according to the outlet.

"It takes an enormous amount of courage for a sexual abuse victim to report having been sexually abused to investigators and proceed through the criminal process," he said. "Let the facts be presented, the law applied, and a fair verdict rendered."

In 2019, McCarrick, the former archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., was stripped of his religious authority after Vatican officials, including Pope Francis, announced they corroborated decades of rumors he was engaging in sexual misconduct.

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The Catholic Church determined one claim that McCarrick fondled an altar boy before Christmas Mass in New York City in 1971 and 1972 was "credible and substantiated."

McCarrick, who resides in Missouri, has been summoned to appear for an arraignment in Massachusetts on Aug. 26.

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Tags: News, Vatican, Massachusetts, Pope Francis, Catholic Church, Catholic, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse Allegations

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: Former cardinal charged with sexually assaulting teenager in 1970s

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