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Ex-Catholic Cardinal McCarrick pleads not guilty to child sex abuse charges

Theodore McCarrick is the highest-ranking Catholic official to be prosecuted for sexually abusing a child. File Photo by Patrick D. McDermott/UPI File Photo by Patrick D. McDermott/UPI
Theodore McCarrick is the highest-ranking Catholic official to be prosecuted for sexually abusing a child. File Photo by Patrick D. McDermott/UPI File Photo by Patrick D. McDermott/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Former Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick pleaded not guilty on Friday to multiple criminal charges of sexual misconduct stemming from accusations that he abused a teenage boy during the 1970s.

McCarrick faces three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14. He is accused of molesting a 16-year-old boy in the Boston area during a wedding in 1974.

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Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

McCarrick is the highest-ranking Catholic official in the United States to be prosecuted for sexually abuse of a child.

In his first public appearance since 2018, McCarrick on Friday used a walker to enter the Dedham, Mass., District Court, where the judge ordered him to give up his passport and stay away from the victim and anyone under 18. He also ordered a $5,000 cash bail.

The victim, now in his early 60s, was the first of more than a dozen people who have accused McCarrick of abuse or harassment when they were boys, seminarians or clerics.

McCarrick was removed from his ministry amid the accusations in 2018 and Pope Francis defrocked him after the Vatican said he was guilty of sex abuse in another case.

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