Former US Cardinal McCarrick Unfit to Stand Sex Abuse Trial: The case of the former Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who was accused of assaulting a 16-year-old boy in 1974 was dismissed on Wednesday by a Massachusetts judge who declared the 93-year-old not capable of standing trial due to his dementia.
When Massachusetts prosecutors first accused McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, D.C., of child sex abuse in 2021, he became the only current or former U.S. Catholic cardinal to ever face charges after being defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019.
Prosecutors claim that McCarrick fondled the claimed victim in 1977 while he was 18 years old and a guest at a cabin. He was charged in April in a second, continuing criminal sexual assault case in Wisconsin involving the same alleged victim.
According to prosecutors in Dedham, Massachusetts, three years earlier, during a family wedding reception at Wellesley College, McCarrick touched the child as they walked about campus before bringing him into a small room that resembled a closet and finding him.
Judge Paul McCallum in Dedham, however, approved prosecutors’ motion to drop three counts of indecent assault and battery related to the 1974 incident on Wednesday after a psychologist hired by the prosecution said she believed McCarrick had dementia.
The psychologist Kerry Nelligan said that when she visited with McCarrick in June, he frequently forgot what they talked about and that his condition prevented him from effectively contributing to his own defense.
Nelligan was quoted by Premier as saying “There were significant deficits in his memory and ability to retain information.”
While watching the proceeding on video, McCarrick, who resides in a Missouri senior care home remained silent. He had earlier asserted his innocence. His attorneys chose not to respond.
His alleged victim in a court filing on Wednesday said the case “was to have provided a modest level of payback” after he suffered years of abuse at McCarrick’s hands.
“McCarrick walks a free man and I am left with nothing,” the alleged victim wrote.