A Boston newspaper is reporting defrocked former Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been charged in the northeast U.S. state of Massachusetts with sexually assaulting a teenage boy in the 1970s.
The Boston Globe reported Thursday it has obtained court records showing McCarrick, now 91, has been charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery stemming from an incident involving a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception at Wellesley College.
The report said a summons has been issued for McCarrick, who now lives in Missouri, to appear in court. The former archbishop of Washington was defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019 after a Vatican investigation into years-long allegations that he was a sexual predator.
The Boston Globe report says several men in New York and New Jersey alleged McCarrick had abused them in the 1970s as well. But authorities were thwarted from pursuing criminal charges because the statute of limitations had expired in those cases.
But the report explains McCarrick can be charged in connection with the Wellesley allegations because he was not a Massachusetts resident and the statute of limitations stopped running when he left the state.
The lawyer for the man making the allegations is Mitchell Garabedian, a well-known attorney for church sexual abuse victims. Garabedian said McCarrick is the first cardinal in the U.S. to ever be criminally charged with a sexual crime against a minor.
Garabedian's work was portrayed in the 2016 movie "Spotlight,” about the Globe’s own investigation into sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church.
An attorney for McCarrick, Barry Coburn, told The Associated Press that they “look forward to addressing the case in the courtroom.”
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press.