Court finds former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick unfit to stand trial for sexual assault

A Massachusetts court ruled Wednesday that defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is not competent to stand trial. McCarrick is accused of assaulting a teenage victim in 1977 and faces charges from the same victim in Wisconsin. Photo by Patrick D. McDermott/UPI

Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts court ruled Wednesday that former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick is not competent to stand trial for decades-old allegations that he had sexually abused a teenage boy.

McCarrick is accused of assaulting a 16-year-old victim at a 1974 wedding celebration at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

The alleged victim says he was assaulted twice during the day of the wedding, according to a complaint filed in 2021.

Massachusetts forensic psychologist Kerry Nelligan said McCarrick showed signs of "deficits of his memory and ability to retain information," during an examination in June.

"These deficits are not going to get better," Nelligan added. "There is no cure. There is no medication that can improve the symptoms."

In April Wisconsin prosecutors charged McCarrick with fourth-degree sexual assault related to the alleged abuse of the same individual in 1977.

The accuser says he was groped in Wisconsin's Geneva Lake by McCarrick, who at the time was a priest in New York's Archdiocese, and another adult man. The accuser also says McCarrick had sex with him the day before groping him in the lake and that he had been abused by McCarrick repeatedly over the years, starting when he was 11.

In 2019, McCarrick was defrocked after the Vatican held a trial during which they found him guilty of abusing underage and adult pupils.

The Vatican's investigation found that Pope John Paul II had appointed McCarrick to the position of Archbishop of Washington, D.C., after an inquiry found that McCarrick had sex with his pupils.

McCarrick is the highest-ranking Catholic official to be charged in the United States in relation to a sex crime.