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Lawsuit: Former cardinal abused boys in N.J. 'sex ring'

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been accused of sexually abusing a boy at a New Jersey beach house in the early 1980s. Photo by Patrick D. McDermott/UPI
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been accused of sexually abusing a boy at a New Jersey beach house in the early 1980s. Photo by Patrick D. McDermott/UPI | License Photo

July 23 (UPI) -- An unnamed man has accused former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and other clerics in a lawsuit of sexually abusing him and other boys as part of a "sex ring" operated out of a New Jersey beach house in the early 1980s.

Jeff Anderson, one of the lawyers for the unnamed plaintiff, told reporters in a virtual press conference Wednesday that the lawsuit brings into "bright and broad focus over 50 years of criminal sexual predation by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick -- all of it cloaked in papal power."

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The lawsuit, filed Tuesday evening in New Jersey, accuses McCarrick, 90, and five other officials of the Roman Catholic church of sexually abusing him when he was 14 along with other boys at the Sea Grit beach house from 1982 to 1983.

The unnamed accuser said in the lawsuit that McCarrick and other clerics would take the boys on overnight and weekend trips to the beach house where he would assign sleeping arrangements and "minor boys were assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics."

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"And in the night and with the assistance of others, McCarrick would creep into this kid's bed and engage in criminal sexual assault of him, whispering 'it is okay,'" Anderson said.

McCarrick has been accused of sexual assault before, and in December of last year, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit against him for abusing him when he was 14 in 1995.

The former Archdiocese of Washington from 2000 to 2006 resigned from the College of Cardinal in July 2018 amid fallout from an Archdiocese Review Board investigation into allegations be abused an altar boy as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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Pope Francis defrocked McCarrick in February of 2019 after the Vatican found him guilty of sexual abuse.

The suit also accuses Father Anthony Nardino, Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt, Father Gerald Ruane, Father Michael Walters and Father John Laferrera of sexually abusing the unnamed plaintiff.

The Archdiocese of Newark has Ruane, Walters and Laferrera on a list of credibly accused clergy. All three are said to have been accused by multiple victims with Laferrera and Walters being permanently removed from the ministry. Ruane, it said, is dead.

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