Former Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Assault 50 Years Ago
By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER, The Associated Press
DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) – Former Roman Catholic cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the once powerful American prelate who was kicked out of the priesthood for sexual abuse, pleaded not guilty on Friday to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy at a reception of married in Massachusetts almost 50 years ago.
McCarrick, 91, wore a mask and walked into Dedham District Court in suburban Boston, bent over a walker. “Shame on you!” shouted a protester.
He did not speak at the hearing, in which the court pleaded not guilty on his behalf, set the bond at $ 5,000 and ordered him to stay away from the victim and n ” have no contact with minors.
McCarrick is the only current or former American Catholic cardinal to have ever been charged with child sex crimes.
McCarrick’s attorney, Katherine Zimmerl, later said they “looked forward to responding to the allegations in court” and would have no further immediate comment.
The next hearing was set for October 28.
McCarrick, who now lives in Dittmer, Missouri, faces three counts of indecent assault and assault and battery on a person over the age of 14, according to court documents. He can still face charges in this case because he was not a resident of Massachusetts and had left the state, stopping the statute of limitations.
McCarrick’s downfall began in 2017 when a former altar boy showed up to report the priest groped him as a teenager in New York City. The following year, the Archdiocese of New York announced that McCarrick had been removed from office after finding the allegation “credible and valid,” and two New Jersey dioceses revealed they had settled misconduct complaints sexual against him in the past involving adults.
Pope Francis defrocked McCarrick in 2019 after a Vatican investigation determined he had sexually assaulted minors, as well as adults.
A two-year internal investigation into McCarrick found three decades of bishops, cardinals and popes downplayed or dismissed reports of sexual misconduct. Correspondence showed that they repeatedly dismissed the information as rumor and excused it as “recklessness.”
The results of the investigation released last year placed much of the blame on Pope John Paul II, who appointed McCarrick Archbishop of Washington, DC, although he commissioned an investigation which confirmed that McCarrick had lying with seminarians.
In the Massachusetts case, authorities began investigating McCarrick after the accuser’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, sent a letter to the district attorney’s office alleging the abuse, court records show.
The man told authorities in an interview in January that McCarrick was close to his family when he was growing up and that the abuse started when he was a young boy.
The man said that at his brother’s wedding reception at Wellesley College in June 1974 – when he was 16 – McCarrick told him his father wanted him to have a conversation with McCarrick because the boy “Was mischievous at home and didn’t go to church.”
The man said they both went for a walk around campus and McCarrick groped him before returning to the party. The man said McCarrick also sexually assaulted him in a “locker room type closet” after they returned to the reception, authorities wrote in the documents.
The man told investigators that before leaving the room, McCarrick told him to “say three Our Fathers and one Hail Mary or it was one Our Father and three Hail Marys, so God could redeem from your sins, âaccording to the report.
He also described other cases of sexual abuse by McCarrick over the years, including when the man was an adult, court records show. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who report sexual assault unless they agree to be publicly named.
Ordained a priest in New York in 1958, McCarrick rose through the ranks of the church despite a knowledge apparently common to the United States and Vatican leaders that âUncle Ted,â as he was called, slept with seminarians.
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The case against McCarrick and other Catholic clerics is particularly fierce in Boston, where the global priestly sexual abuse scandal was first exposed.
The Boston Globe Spotlight team report helped open the scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002. The report revealed how dozens of priests in the Archdiocese had assaulted and raped children for decades while the Senior church officials covered him up and chased abusive priests from parish to parish.
A Globe feature film, “Spotlight,” won the 2016 Oscar for Best Picture.
McCarrick became one of the most visible Catholic Church officials in the United States and even served as a spokesperson for other American bishops when they adopted a “zero tolerance” policy against sexually-oriented priests. abusive in 2002.
Cardinal George Pell was convicted of sexual abuse in his native Australia, but his conviction was eventually overturned. And French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was found guilty but later acquitted of the charges he covered for a notorious pedophile priest.
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