(ZENIT News / United States, 07.10.2023).- A prosecution expert said that former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is not fit to face a trial, for charges accusing him of sexual aggression against an adolescent in Massachusetts decades ago. This evaluation puts in doubt the future of the criminal case against this 92-year-old former Catholic Bishop.
In the last week of June, the prosecutors presented the findings to the Judge, who will take the final decision on the former American prelate’s capacity to face charges of abuse of a youth during a wedding reception in Wellesley College in 1974.
McCarrick has maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty in September 2021. He also faces charges of sexual aggression against an 18-year-old man in Wisconsin over 45 years ago.
In February, McCarrick’s lawyers requested that the case be thrown out, arguing that an expert in psychiatry had examined McCarrick and concluded that he has dementia, probably Alzheimer’s disease.
The prosecutors contracted their own expert to assess McCarrick, who then presented his own report on the accused’s competence. The hearing on this matter will be held on August 30.
Pope Francis defrocked McCarrick in 2019, after a Vatican investigation determined that he had sexually abused adults and children. The case sparked a credibility crisis for the Church, as the Vatican had reports of McCarrick’s problematic behaviour since 1999.
The case in question involves a man who accuses McCarrick of abusing him over several years, including when he was 16 during his brother’s wedding reception in Wellesley College. The prosecutors allege that McCarrick abused the youth sexually on several occasions.
The case’s future is in the hands of the Judge, who will decide if McCarrick is fit to face a trial. In the meantime, the accuser has decided to continue his civil lawsuits presented in other States.
It’s important to point out that the complainant’s identity has not been revealed publicly. This case highlights the importance of addressing and preventing sexual abuse, especially in trusted institutions, such as the Catholic Church. The investigations and trial will give more clarity on the actions and responsibilities of those involved in this case.