Ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick ran sex ring for clerics at New Jersey beach home, lawsuit alleges

Statesman Journal from The Record / NJ.com

July 23, 2020

By Abbott Koloff and Deena Yellin


A lawsuit filed Tuesday night accuses former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of taking his pick of boys to abuse sexually and assigning others to adult clerics at a New Jersey beach home that’s been central to previous allegations against the former prelate.

The man who brought the suit said in court papers that he was abused in the early 1980s by McCarrick and three priests at the home, which is in Sea Girt. McCarrick previously was accused of bringing adult seminarians to the home and sexually harassing them during overnight stays. Those allegations and others involving children led to McCarrick being defrocked last year, when he became the highest-ranking American Catholic official to be punished over accusations of sex abuse.

The suit alleges that the plaintiff was abused by two other clerics as a child — including a former Essex Catholic High School principal who introduced him to McCarrick “under the guise that McCarrick would help Plaintiff pay his school tuition.”

Jeff Anderson, the plaintiff’s attorney, referred to the gatherings at the beach house as a “sex ring” during a video press conference Wednesday. He repeated allegations made in the lawsuit, saying popes have known about allegations against McCarrick for decades but allowed him to rise to become one of the most powerful prelates in the church. He referred to McCarrick’s actions as “50 years of criminal sexual predation” that had been “cloaked in papal power.”

McCarrick was bishop of the Metuchen Archdiocese when abuse alleged in the lawsuit occurred. He later became Archbishop of the Newark Archdiocese before taking over the Washington Archdiocese, where he became a cardinal. Allegations that he sexually harassed seminarians at his beach house remained a secret for years before coming to light in 2018.

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