Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick ran a sex abuse ring of underage boys at a New Jersey shore house, according to a recent lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed by a man under the pseudonym Doe 14, claimed that in 1982 and 1983, when he was a 14-year-old, he and other victims would go on overnight trips to a Sea Girt beach house, the New York Daily News reported.
“McCarrick assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” according to the suit filed in state court under New Jersey’s Child Victims Act.
“On these occasions, minor boys were assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics,” the suit continued.
The victim claimed that he fell into McCarrick’s abusive scheme in 1982 through Brother Andrew Hewitt, who served as principal of Essex Catholic Boys High School at the time.
Doe was allegedly abused by Hewitt, who also introduced McCarrick to Doe as someone who could pay his tuition, according to the lawsuit.
McCarrick served as the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Metuchen, NJ, at the time and became a cardinal in February 2001. Hewitt passed away in 2002.
Jeff Anderson, the attorney who represents Doe 14, said priests and others under McCarrick’s control engaged in “open and obvious criminal sexual conduct” that the Catholic Church tried to hide.
“That continued for 50 years until McCarrick, having been publicly exposed, was ultimately defrocked,” Anderson told NJ.com.
The anonymous victim filed the suit against the Diocese of Metuchen, the Archdiocese of Newark, and the schools he attended while growing up in New Jersey.
All while this went on, McCarrick continued to climb the hierarchy in the church. Pope John Paul II picked him to be Archbishop of Washington in 2000 and promoted him to cardinal a year later.
In 2018, McCarrick became the first cardinal in almost a century to resign from his position following a sexual abuse allegation involving a former altar server in New York.
In February 2019, the Vatican laicized McCarrick after finding him guilty of multiple instances of homosexual abuse. In the Catholic Church, laicism is the most extreme form of punishment for a member of the clergy.