BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A defrocked cardinal has been charged with sexually assaulting a minor in Massachusetts in the 1970's. Court documents showed that Theodore McCarrick is accused of assaulting a 16-year-old boy at a wedding reception at Wellesley College in 1974.
McCarrick served in the church from until 2019, when he was defrocked by Pope Francis. He was expelled from the church leadership after a lengthy papal investigation.
McCarrick is facing three counts of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person over 14.
The court documents describe in graphic detail how McCarrick is alleged to have sexually assaulted the then-16-year-old in a closet at the reception. The victim's name is redacted throughout the charging documents.
The former cardinal is the highest ranking Catholic Church official ever to be charged in the organization's ongoing child sexual abuse reckoning.
Longtime sexual abuse lawyer Mitchell Garabedian is representing the man that was allegedly abused, and told WBZ NewsRadio that he is proud of his client for "having the courage to be involved in a criminal matter," he said.
Garabedian said the criminal charges would "empower other clergy sexual abuse victims to come forward...and illustrate that they are not going to be silent and maintain the secrecy that the Catholic Church wants them to maintain."
"It's making them realize that they're not alone... and that they have a voice," Garabedian said. A lawyer for McCarrick told the AP that the former Cardinal and his legal team "look forward to addressing the case in the courtroom."
McCarrick is scheduled to be arraigned at Dedham District Court on August 26.
Written by Chaiel Schaffel.
WBZ's Jim MacKay contributed reporting.