A new lawsuit accuses former cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, of managing a “sex cabal” among seminarians, altar boys and priests at a New Jersey beach house in the 1980s.
The 30-page lawsuit was filed late Tuesday in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Middlesex County by attorney Jeff Anderson on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff.
It alleges one count of sexual battery and six counts of negligence against Mr. McCarrick, the Archdiocese of Newark, the Diocese of Metuchen, and several former or retired priests. Mr. McCarrick served as the bishop of Metuchen from 1981 to 1986 and as the archbishop of Newark from 1986 to 2000.
At the center of the allegations is a beach house in Sea Girt, New Jersey, that was purchased with diocesan funds by Mr. McCarrick when he was the bishop of Metuchen. The lawsuit says the beach house was used as a place to groom boys for sexual assault.
“At that house and detailed in the complaint … was an assembly of a large number of seminarians and other priests all answering in service to the boss, to the bishop, to McCarrick,” Mr. Anderson said Wednesday in a Zoom press conference from his offices in St. Paul, Minnesota. “And in the night, with the assistance of others, McCarrick would creep into this kid’s bed and engage in criminal sexual assault … whispering, ‘It’s OK.’”
The lawsuit details allegations of molestation against the plaintiff beginning in 1978, and later against an 11-year-old altar boy, and continuing from 1982 to 1983 at the beach house. The Diocese of Metuchen later sold the beach house, Mr. Anderson said.
Tuesday’s lawsuit resulted from passage of a bill in New Jersey extending the statutes of limitation on child sexual abuse claims.
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