The sex abuse case against Theodore McCarrick, the infamously defrocked Irish American Cardinal, was dismissed in Massachusetts today, August 30.
"Mr. McCarrick is not competent to stand trial," Dedham District Judge Paul McCallum said in court on Wednesday.
In February, McCarrick's attorneys asked the court for the case to be dismissed after an expert found that McCarrick had dementia. The prosecutors, in turn, had their own expert examine McCarrick who ultimately agreed with the diagnosis.
According to The Boston Globe, prosecutor Lisa Beatty moved to dismiss the case following McCallum's ruling on Wednesday, saying there was no good faith basis to go forward, and she also provided a victim statement to the court. The dismissal motion was granted.
McCarrick, who is free on bail and lives at an assisted living facility in Missouri for clerics accused of molesting children, attended Wednesday's hearing in Dedham District Court remotely via Zoom.
The only current or former US Catholic cardinal to ever face child sex abuse charges, McCarrick still faces a charge of one count of fourth-degree sexual assault in Wisconsin which was lodged in April of this year.
McCarrick, who in 1990 was awarded the Ellis Island Hall of Fame membership in honor of his Irish immigrant roots, was charged in Massachusetts in July 2021 with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 relating to an alleged incident in 1974.
McCarrick pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintains his innocence.
The sexual abuse charges in Massachusetts came three years after McCarrick was stripped of his clerical status in February 2019 after the Vatican found him guilty of sex crimes, making him the first cardinal in the history of the Catholic church to be defrocked.
As of December 2022, McCarrick had been publicly accused of sexually abusing an estimated 14 minors in New York and New Jersey and of sexually abusing and/or harassing at least eight seminarians and priests of the Metuchen diocese and Newark archdiocese, according to Bishop Accountability, a Massachusetts non-profit that documents abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.
After Wednesday's hearing, Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney for McCarrick's accuser, said in a statement: “In spite of the criminal court’s decision today, many clergy sexual abuse victims feel as though former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is and will always be the permanent personification of evil within the Catholic Church."
The Boston Globe reports that the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said in a statement Wednesday: “Our hearts agonize for McCarrick’s victim, and regardless of today’s decision, we stand in solidarity with him and will always believe him.
“In our opinion, the verdict in this case has already been rendered, and the disgraced prelate and those who enabled him will eventually confront a judge who does not hear defense motions.”
The group added that it trusts that “McCarrick’s lengthy career as a Cardinal in the Catholic Church will be remembered by those who scrutinize child sex abuse victims for failing to report crimes promptly. Moreover, as someone who has deftly utilized legal technicalities to evade justice.”