McCarrick case drags on a year after his arraignment in Massachusetts

Crux [Denver CO]

September 9, 2022

By John Lavenburg

Just more than a year after ex-cardinal and ex-priest Theodore McCarrick was arraigned in a Massachusetts criminal court on assault and battery charges, proceedings continue on without an imminent conclusion.

Another status update in the case came and went in Dedham District Court on Sept. 8, without any progress and another continuance to Nov. 1.

McCarrick was criminally charged in July 2021, with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 stemming from the alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception at Wellesley College on June 8, 1974.

The alleged victim in the case has not been publicly identified. The person is represented by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is well known for representing those who have made abuse allegations against Catholic clergy.

McCarrick, who turned 92 in July, appeared in person for his arraignment on Sept. 3, 2021. It was his first public appearance since 2018. To date, he remains the only former or current U.S. cardinal to be charged criminally with sexual abuse.

McCarrick’s presence for the subsequent pretrial hearings was waived. He was released at his arraignment on four conditions: he pays $5,000 cash bail, has no contact with the alleged victim or anyone under 18, doesn’t leave the United States, and surrenders his passport.

Even though the charges are from nearly 50 years ago, a specific aspect of the statute of limitations on criminal charges in Massachusetts allowed McCarrick’s accuser to pursue charges for the alleged sexual assault. The statute of limitations for criminal cases in Massachusetts is set up to “toll,” or pause, when the offender is out of state. McCarrick has never resided in Massachusetts, therefore, the statute of limitations for this case doesn’t apply.

After McCarrick’s arraignment last year, Garabedian was steadfast that “justice will prevail.”

“My client, a courageous clergy sex abuse survivor, is strong and is ready to face Cardinal McCarrick,” Garabedian said.

Follow John Lavenburg on Twitter: @johnlavenburg