Madison, Wis. (AP) – The Roman Catholic cardinal who has become the face of the church’s clergy sex abuse crisis has been accused of sexually abusing an 18-year-old in Wisconsin more than 45 years ago, court records show.

A criminal complaint filed Friday alleges that Theodore McCarrick, who was ordained priest in 2019 a vatican investigation Found he had sexually assaulted adults and children, a man he loved while living in a cabin on Lake Geneva in southeastern Wisconsin in 1977.

The alleged victim, who has not been named, told investigators that McCarrick repeatedly sexually assaulted her since she was 11, according to the complaint, and even brought her to parties where other adult males sexually assaulted her. Did.

McCarrick becomes the highest-ranking Roman Catholic official in the US to face criminal charges for sex abuse accused in 2021 of sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a wedding reception in Massachusetts in 1974. His lawyers asked the judge in that case earlier this year dismiss the chargesadding that McCarrick, who is now 92 and suffering from dementia, is not competent to stand trial.

According to a news release, Wisconsin prosecutors learned about the alleged 1977 assault by McCarrick through a program dedicated to prosecuting abuse cases by faith leaders.

The once-powerful priest was ordained in 1958 and became archbishop of Newark, New Jersey in 1986 and then archbishop of Washington, DC in 2000. He rose to power despite knowledge of the charges against him by church officials. A two-year Vatican investigation into McCarrick’s tenure yielded credible reports of his problematic behavior from 1999, including an investigation that confirmed McCarrick had slept with seminarians.

near the church confirmed that it has made financial arrangements with adults who accused McCarrick of sexual misconduct. McCarrick retired in 2006 but remained active in political circles until his removal by Pope Francis in 2019.

Wisconsin prosecutors learned about the alleged 1977 assault through a program dedicated to prosecuting cases of abuse by faith leaders, according to a news release. Authorities were able to charge McCarrick because the statute of limitations does not apply to people who are not residents of the state. A similar law allowed Massachusetts prosecutors to bring their case against McCarrick after more than 40 years.

McCarrick’s attorney in Massachusetts, William Fick, did not immediately respond to phone calls or emails sent Monday. An attorney has not yet been listed for McCarrick in the Wisconsin case.

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