Former cardinal charged following sexual assault allegations, pleads not guilty

( A former Roman Catholic cardinal has been charged with multiple counts of battery and indecent assault following the surfacing of new allegations that he used his position of power in the Church to abuse a child.

91-year-old former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been charged with three counts of indecent assault as well as battery on a person over the age of 14. The Boston Glove reports that McCarrick is now the highest ranking priest in the Catholic Church to be charged with these crimes.

He has entered a “not guilty” plea to the charges, and was set a $5,000 bail. McCarrick was told by the judge not to interact with any minors until the trial and not to contact the alleged victim, who has chosen to remain anonymous. He will next go to court on October 28 for a hearing.

Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney representing the anonymous plaintiff, said that the recent arraignment gives “hope” for many victims of child sex abuse at the hands of clergymen. He added that survivors expect that justice will prevail and the truth will be told so that children can be kept safe.

“Today, history is being made,” he said, adding that the plaintiff is “sending a direct message to the Catholic Church” that the long period of sexual abuse from cardinals and bishops “is going to be confronted head on.”

According to a police report that was filed with the court, the alleged victim claims that the former cardinal sexually assaulted him when he was young in multiple states and had accompanied his family on a number of trips. The report also claims that the former cardinal had previously been accused of assaulting the same victim when he was 16 years old at a wedding reception in 1974.