By: Lia Eustachewich
Disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick allegedly ran a sex ring out of his New jersey beach house – where one victim claims he was molested by him and three other priests, according to a new lawsuit.
The victim – “Doe 14”- says the alleged abuse began when he was 14 during overnight stays at McCarrick’s Sea Girt home in 1982.
“In the night, with the assistance of others, McCarrick would creep into this kid’s bed and engage in criminal sexual assault of him, whispering, “It is OK,” Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the now-53 year-old-victim, said at a virtual press conference Wednesday.
Other priests allegedly served as part of a “crew” of procurers of young boys for then-Bishop McCarrick, who “assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” the suit says.
Some of the other boys who were allegedly brought to McCarrick’s home were “assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics,” according to the complaint.
The victim claims he was also abused at the beach house by priests Gerald Ruane, Michael Walters and John Laferrere. The three men were among a list of 188 clergy members in New Jersey accused of sexual misconduct, N.J.com reported. Ruane is dead, while the other two men were listed as “permanently removed from ministry.”
The suit was filed Tuesday night in New Jersey superior Court in Middlesex County against the Diocese of Metuchen, the Archdiocese of Newark – where McCarrick served as bishop and archbishop respectively – and several New Jersey schools the victim attended.
The victim is described as having been raised in a devout Roman Catholic family and he was a former student at St. francis Xavier in Newark and Essex Catholic in East Orange.
He also claims he was sexually abused as an 11 year – old altar boy at St. Francis Xavier by the Rev. Anthony Nardino, who was employed at the school, and later molested by Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt at Essex Catholic, where he was the Principal.
Hewitt died in 2002, according to an online obituary. Nardino, who has not been publicly accused before, has left the ministry, according to N.J.com
Anderson said “decades of alleged sexual abuse have been covered up by the Catholic Church.
“All of it cloaked in papal power,” he said.
Sexual abuse allegations against McCarrick have been leveled before, including by James Grein, the first child he baptized. Grein said McCarrick – known as UncleTed – began molesting him at age 11.
The archdiocese of Newark didn’t immediately comment.
Its spokeswoman, Maria Margiotta, told N.J.come, “It would be inappropriate to discuss or comment on matters in litigation. The archdiocese of Newark remains fully committed to transparency and to our long-standing programs to protect the faithful and will ccontinue to work with victims, their legal representatives and law enforcement authorities in ongoing effort to resolve allegations andbring closure to victims.”
McCarrick’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a message.
Anthony Kearns, spokesperson and chancellor for the Diocese of Metuchen, said the diocese was” committed to preventing future sexual abuse.
While we have not yet received the complaint, our prayers are with all survivors of abuse, today and always,, and we stand with them in their journey toward healing and hope” he said. “With god’s grace, all survivors of abuse, particularly those wounded by members of the Church, will continue to heal and move forward.”