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Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick becomes highest-ranking U.S. Catholic charged with sexual abuse

Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal who was defrocked in 2019, has been hit with sexual assault charges.

McCarrick was charged Thursday with three counts of indecent assault and battery in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old boy in 1974 at Wellesley College, The Washington Post reports. This, the Post notes, made him the highest-ranking Catholic official in the United States to be criminally charged over alleged sexual abuse.

The charges came after Pope Francis expelled McCarrick from the priesthood in 2019 after he was found guilty of sexual abuse during a Vatican trial, in what was reportedly the first time the church defrocked a U.S. cardinal. McCarrick will be arraigned on Aug. 26, according to NBC News. His attorney told NBC, "We will look forward to addressing the case in the courtroom."