Former cardinal McCarrick faces new sexual assault charge in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (OSV News) — Former cardinal Theodore McCarrick faces a new charge of sexual assault in Wisconsin, in addition those he is currently battling in a Massachusetts court.

On April 16, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Walworth County District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld announced McCarrick, 92, has been charged with one count of fourth-degree sexual assault for an incident that occurred in April 1977.

According to the complaint, which emerged from a report made to Wisconsin Department of Justice’s (WDOJ) Clergy and Faith Leader Abuse initiative, McCarrick allegedly fondled the victim’s genitals while staying as a guest at a Geneva Lake, Wisconsin, residence and “engaged in repeated sexual abuse of the victim over time.”

McCarrick has also pleaded not guilty in September 2021 to charges in Massachusetts that he allegedly sexually abused a boy during a wedding reception at Wellesley College in June 1974. McCarrick’s attorney Barry Coburn — who along with attorney Daniel Marx filed a Feb. 27 motion to have the Massachusetts charges dismissed due to his client’s alleged dementia — told OSV News he had no comment on the latest charges.

McCarrick, once one of the most powerful clerics in the Catholic Church known for his fundraising prowess, has been accused of sexually abusing both adult and child victims over decades, a scandal that burst into public in 2018. After the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (now a dicastery) found McCarrick guilty of abuse in 2019, he was laicized by Pope Francis.

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