Former altar boy alleges sexual misconduct by McCarrick in lawsuit

Theodore McCarrick Altar Boys

Title: Former altar boy alleges sexual misconduct by McCarrick in lawsuit
Author: Ted Sherman
Publisher: NJ Advance Media
Date: 17AUG2020

Geoffrey Downs walked away from the Catholic Church nearly 40 years ago.

He never told anyone about what led to that split. Now he says he wants everyone to know.

In a new lawsuit against the now defrocked and disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Downs charged that he had been groped by the cleric before Mass while serving as a teenage altar boy decades ago. The Diocese of Metuchen was also named in the suit, filed in Superior Court in Monmouth County.

According to Downs, McCarrick — who at the time was serving as bishop of the Metuchen Diocese — offered to help him with his grades and arrange some “alone time” at a beach house owned by the diocese at the Jersey shore.

The allegations come amid a growing number of similar lawsuits that have targeted McCarrick in recent months. Downs is one of the few who has publicly come out and identified himself.

“I want the story told,” he explained. “I want the church and those monsters to atone for what they’ve done.”

Three weeks ago, lawyers for an unnamed victim charged that the individual they named only as “Doe 14” had been groomed for a role in what they called a “sex ring” involving McCarrick, who was cast out of the ministry last year.

In that lawsuit, they charged other priests served as “procurers” to bring victims to McCarrick at the beach house, where he “assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” and that they were paired with adult clerics.

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