"Cardinal Theodore McCarrick" by World Economic Forum / CC BY-SA 2.0

New Jersey lawsuit alleges former D.C. archbishop Theodore McCarrick sexually abused 14-year-old at Hackensack parish in the 1990s

Dec 5, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein

A New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging that former D.C. Catholic archbishop Theodore McCarrick — a giant in the U.S. church — sexually abused him in the 1990s, when the man was 14.

The suit is one of thousands of new child sexual abuse cases being filed as a slew of states expand litigation windows for a crime that often takes decades for survivors to confront.

John Bellocchio, a former Catholic schoolteacher and principal, filed the suit Monday — the first day in New Jersey of a two-year window for survivors of child sexual abuse to sue — said his lawyer, Jeff Anderson.

The suit alleges that McCarrick, whom Pope Francis defrocked as a cardinal earlier this year, sexually assaulted Bellocchio when the priest was visiting the boy’s parish in Hackensack. At the time, McCarrick was archbishop of Newark. He led the Archdiocese of Washington from 2000 to 2006.

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