Federal lawsuit details new rape allegations against McCarrick involving 12-year-old boy
In one of the most graphic accusations yet against Theodore McCarrick, the disgraced and defrocked former Catholic cardinal accused of sex abuse, attorneys for a 47-year-old man claim he was sexually assaulted for years by the former cleric — beginning when he was just 12 years old.
The new allegations against McCarrick, 90, were made in a federal lawsuit filed in New Jersey on behalf of the unnamed “John Doe,” who said he was raped and sexually abused as a child by McCarrick on dozens of occasions from 1985 through 1990.
His attorneys, in the voluminous, 108-page complaint filed in late September, asserted that the Vatican and high-ranking officials in the Catholic Church knew McCarrick had engaged in “rampant and widespread sexual misconduct.” But the lawsuit alleges church officials chose to ignore the allegations against McCarrick — mindful that he was an “extraordinarily successful fundraiser” for the church and the Vatican.
The Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen were also named in the lawsuit for allegedly failing to protect the boy from a known predator while McCarrick headed the two New Jersey dioceses.
John Doe’s lawyers, Mark Lefkowitz of Hawthorne and Kevin Mulhearn of Orangeburg, N.Y., declined comment, and said they would allow the complaint to speak for itself.
An attorney for McCarrick also declined comment.
The civil action is just the latest in a series of lawsuits filed by former altar boys, seminarians, priests and others who claimed they were assaulted by McCarrick during his nearly 21 years in New Jersey as bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen and as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark.
Last week, the Vatican released an unprecedented 449-page internal investigation, which charged that bishops, cardinals and three different popes downplayed or dismissed reports of McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct. That report was based in part on the accounts of seventeen individuals who alleged McCarrick abused his authority to gain and maintain access to them, all while they were boys or young men.
The Vatican documented three decades of reported misconduct by McCarrick, and how his friends and supporters in the church hierarchy — including bishops, cardinals and ultimately popes — all dismissed those claims, including six anonymous letters accusing him of pedophilia that were sent to U.S. church leaders in the early 1990s.
McCarrick was defrocked, or removed from the clerical state, in February 2019.
He has denied all of the allegations against him.
ALLEGED BEACH HOUSE ABUSE
In the federal case filed in U.S. District Court in Newark, the attorneys for John Doe said he was raised in “an extremely devout” Catholic family, and that McCarrick had been a close friend to his parents, siblings and extended family.
In 1985, when McCarrick headed the Diocese of Metuchen, the boy’s parents permitted him to stay overnight at the Metuchen rectory, the lawsuit said. The next day, the bishop took the boy to a beach house owned by the diocese in Sea Girt.
According to the complaint, it was there that McCarrick sexually abused the boy for the first time, masturbating him, performing oral sex on him and forcing the boy to reciprocate. Similar abuse in the months that followed was alleged to have occurred at the rectory in Metuchen and at a fishing cabin in the woods at the Eldred Preserve in the Catskills in New York State.