Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Charged With Indecent Assault In Wellesley From 1970s

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Former American cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been charged with indecent assault on a child over 14 for an incident that police say occurred at Wellesley College in 1974.

Wellesley police have charged McCarrick with the crime, said David Traub, spokesman for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office, in an interview with New Boston Post on Thursday.

McCarrick, 91, the former archbishop of Washington, is accused of fondling a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception after the boy’s father ordered him to have a talk with McCarrick, according to The Boston Globe, which broke the story Thursday, July 29. At the time, McCarrick, a family friend, was a priest of the archdiocese of New York.

Prosecutors say they can charge McCarrick even 47 years after the purported incident because the state’s statute of limitations did not run out because McCarrick did not live in Massachusetts at the time of the incident and left the state in short order, according to the Globe story. McCarrick has never lived in Massachusetts.

McCarrick has been summonsed to appear in Dedham District Court on August 26, Traub said. Authorities say he lives in Missouri.

Genial and smooth, McCarrick was a star fund raiser and an influential bishop, often making lavish donations to other churchmen and Church causes. He rose from a diocesan priest to the bishop of Metuchen, a small diocese in New Jersey, to archbishop of Newark, and eventually to archbishop of Washington, one of the most prominent sees in the United States. He also frequently represented the Holy See overseas.

The public image collapsed in July 2018 when the accusations against him of sexual harassment and sexual assault by former seminarians and adolescents became public. Pope Francis demanded McCarrick’s resignation as a cardinal in 2018, and then, after a church trial, dismissed him from the clerical state in February 2019.

A 449-page report released by the Vatican in November 2020 was designed to answer questions about how McCarrick became a bishop, an archbishop, and a cardinal despite a checkered past, and to measure how influential McCarrick was in the selection of other bishops. But while the report answered some questions, it raised others – including why it omitted the story of James Grein, who says McCarrick began abusing him when he was 11 and continued over the course of 20 years. Grein, now in his early 60s, has filed civil lawsuits against McCarrick.

Others have also filed lawsuits against McCarrick. This is the first time, according to public reports, that McCarrick has been charged with a crime.


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