A new lawsuit has claimed that laicized Cardinal Theodore McCarrick ran a sex ring from a New Jersey beach house in the 1980s, and that he groomed a young victim for a role in it by the time he was a teenager.
The Tuesday filing names the plaintiff as only Doe 14 and the anonymous person – who is now 53 years old – claims he was first abused by McCarrick when he was 14 years old.
He alleges that the sex ring activity took place at a property in the Jersey Shore’s Sea Girt area and that McCarrick directed Father Anthony Nardino, Father John Laferrera, Father Michael Walters, Father Gerald Ruane and Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt, CFC, who are accused of procuring at least seven boys.
The plaintiff claims that Hewitt, who was the principal at Essex Catholic Boy’s High School at the time, abused him and that he introduced him to McCarrick, who was the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Metuchen, as someone who could help pay his tuition. Hewitt died in 2002.
An anonymous man referred to as Doe 14 claims in a Tuesday lawsuit that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick ran a child sex ring out of a house in the Jersey Shore’s Sea Girt
The man claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that he was abused by McCarrick and three others, and that at least seven children were victims at the beach house
‘McCarrick assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,’ according to the suit.
‘On these occasions, minor boys were assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics.’
In a press conference on Wednesday, lawyer Jeffrey Anderson claimed that at that house ‘was an assembly of a large number of seminarians and other priests all answering in service to the boss, to the bishop, to McCarrick.’
‘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,”‘ Anderson said in the Zoom press conference from St. Paul, Minnesota.
The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Middlesex County, alleges the plaintiff – who attended St. Francis Xavier in Newark and Essex Catholic in East Orange in the Archdiocese of Newark – was abused by McCarrick and three of the other priests.
It claims Father Anthony Nardino, Archdiocese of Newark, was responsible for ‘an unpermitted sexual contact’ on Doe 14 in 1978 when he was 11 years old. Nardino was not named in the beach house ring.
It alleges abuse by Hewitt – was named in two previous sex abuse cases – between 1981 and 1983. Ruane, Lafererra and Walters, all of the Archdiocese of Newark, are alleged to have been involved at the beach house in 1982 and 1983.
Doe’s lawyer claimed Wednesday in a press conference: ‘McCarrick would creep into this kid’s bed and engage in criminal sexual assault whispering, “It’s OK”‘
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of the Archdiocese of Washington speaks during a news conference at the Vatican press center, Vatican City, 24 April 2002
In February 2019, the Archdiocese of Newark included Fr. John Laferrera on its List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexually Abusing Minors. Ruane is now deceased.
The lawyer claimed they engaged in ‘open and obvious criminal sexual conduct … that continued for 50 years until McCarrick, having been publicly exposed, was ultimately defrocked.’
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Timeline
1958 Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.
1969 McCarrick allegedly sexually abused James Grein starting in approximately 1969 and continuing until approximately 1976.
1971 McCarrick allegedly sexually abuses an altar boy at Cathedral Prep Seminary in New York, NY.
1981 Appointed as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen.
1982 McCarrick allegedly sexually abuses Plaintiff, continuing until approximately 1983, when Plaintiff is approximately 14 to 16 years old.
1987 Appointed as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark.
1993 Fr. Boniface Ramsey, O.P. reports McCarrick’s conduct with seminarians to the Archbishop of Louisville Thomas Kelly, O.P.
1993 Bishop of Metuchen Edward Hughes learns of McCarrick’s alleged sexual exploitation of a young seminarian.
1995 A priest reports to Bishop Hughes that McCarrick inappropriately touched him as a seminarian.
1995 McCarrick allegedly sexually abuses a minor altar boy, John Bellocchio.
2000 Appointed Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.
2001 Elevated to Cardinal by Pope John Paul II.
2008 Pope Benedict imposes secret canonical sanctions on McCarrick but McCarrick continues to travel and celebrate mass publicly.
2018 McCarrick allowed to resign after allegations of McCarrick’s sexual abuse of a minor boy are made public.
2018 Holy See orders McCarrick to a life of prayer and penance.
2019 McCarrick involuntarily laicized by Pope Francis on February 13.
He had risen through the ranks to become auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York and Archbishop of Newark, and was handpicked by Pope John Paul II to serve as Archbishop of Washington, D.C.
It’s not the first time Sea Girt has been referenced in claims against McCarrick, 90, who resigned in 2018, after credible claims of abuse from someone who was an alter boy in New York.
The person claimed that McCarrick unzipped his pants during a fitting for a cassock and later cornered him in a bathroom.
Before any allegations came to light, McCarrick has secretly settled two cases. In one the cases he paid $80,000 to a New Jersey priest-turned-lawyer who claimed McCarrick would invite young seminarians and priests to the house and said that they shared beds.
That occurred while he was picked as Archbishop of Washington DC in last 2000. McCarrick was made a cardinal a year later.
A 2019 lawsuit from James Grein claimed that he was abused by McCarrick for 20 years but nothing was done about it, even after he told Pope John Paul II during a visit to the Vatican.
Former Catholic schoolteacher and principal, John Bellocchio, previously alleged that McCarrick abused him when he was the Archbishop of Newark.
In the new lawsuit the defendants are charged with one count of sexual battery and six counts of negligence.
The new filing comes after a change in the statute of limitation for New Jersey under New Jersey’s Child Victims Act.
Jeffrey Anderson’s law firm filed 33 more suits against the Diocese of Albany on Tuesday. The firm has now filed a total of 107 lawsuits against the Diocese.
McCarrick’s attorney Barry Coburn told NJ.com that he has ‘no comment at this time.’
Last year McCarrick denied the earlier beach house allegations.
‘I’m not as bad as they paint me. I do not believe that I did the things that they accused me of,’ he told Slate. ‘There were many who were in that situation (at the beach house) who never had any problems like that.’
The Newark Archdiocese declined comment on the new allegations.
‘It would be inappropriate to discuss or comment on matters in litigation,’ spokeswoman, Maria Margiotta, said.
‘The Archdiocese of Newark remains fully committed to transparency and to our long-standing programs to protect the faithful and will continue to work with victims, their legal representatives and law enforcement authorities in an ongoing effort to resolve allegations and bring closure to victims.’
Retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick walks in a procession of bishops as it makes its way through the Bayridge neighborhood of the Brooklyn Borough of New York for the ordination of three auxiliary bishops to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn August 22, 2006
Pope Francis reaches out to hug Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick after the Midday Prayer of the Divine with more than 300 U.S. Bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on September 23, 2015 in Washington, DC