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In September 2021, 90-year-old Theodore McCarrick was arraigned in a Norfolk County, Massachusetts, criminal court. That was 16 months ago, and the trial isn't even close to beginning.
In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb brings us up to date on the trial's status with special insight from legendary attorney Mitchell Garabedian.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian: "The issue of competency has just gotten rolling, and we're going to have to see it play out over the ensuing months."
On Friday, Jan. 13, Theodore McCarrick's defense team requested a continuance in the criminal proceeding against the disgraced former cardinal, further delaying his trial.
If anyone knows how the Catholic Church defends its clergy clerical sex abusers, it's Mitchell Garabedian.
His groundbreaking legal work in connection with Boston archdiocese clerical sex abuse landed him squarely in the middle of the 2015 Academy Award-winning film Spotlight.
Garabedian is representing McCarrick sex abuse victim James Grein in two civil lawsuits — one in New Jersey and one in New York — and is keeping very close tabs on the criminal proceedings in Massachusetts.
While there are questions about why the case has not yet gone to trial, Garabedian is saying, "Steady as she goes."
Garabedian: "My experience with the district attorney's office in Massachusetts is they're very thorough. They move slowly, but they move thoroughly. They're great advocates for sexual abuse and clergy sexual abuse."
McCarrick's legal team is now claiming the 92-year-old McCarrick may not be fit for trial.
His lawyers had him examined in early December by a Johns Hopkins specialist whose preliminary report claims McCarrick's dementia "started relatively recently" and is "worsening rapidly."
Garabedian is cautious in his response to this development.
Garabedian: "I'd like to point out that although I can't get into the substance of it, in November of 2020, I took former Cdl. McCarrick's deposition for more than six hours, and so he did answer questions for more than six hours when I questioned him."
No one is surprised by this recent legal maneuver.
Garabedian: "Now whether former Cdl. McCarrick is incompetent or not, I don't know. And it's going to be a battle of the experts. The defense has provided an expert. The court may get McCarrick evaluated as to his competency, and then there will be a hearing possibly."
The delays are frustrating for Catholics who want to see justice served.
But they are excruciating for victims who must watch as delays play out, potentially in the abuser's favor.
The next hearing is now scheduled for Feb. 27. The entire interview with Mitchell Garabedian is free to our viewers. Just click the link.