CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Former New Jersey County head prosecutor Bob Bianchi had strong words to describe the significance of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick being charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy in the 1970s.
“It’s about time that we’ve gotten to a place where all the obfuscation and the bureaucracies are now giving victims an opportunity not to be shackled to statutes of limitation,” he said on On Balance with Leland Vittert.
McCarrick was defrocked after a Vatican investigation confirmed he had sexually molested adults as well as children.
McCarrick is the first cardinal in the U.S. to ever be criminally charged with a sexual crime against a minor, according to Mitchell Garabedian, a well-known lawyer for church sexual abuse victims who is representing the man alleging the abuse by McCarrick.
Bianchi, who is Catholic, also prosecuted priests during his career. He’s not ready to predict what the jury may decide.
“It’s tough no matter how you look at it, to prosecute this case,” Bianchi said. “It’s  years old, where essentially it’s going to be a he said, he said, and the jury has to determine straight out on the credibility of the witness, as opposed to have any independent cooperative evidence.”
Still, he speculated the prosecutors would not risk the “embarrassment” of losing a case of this stature, so Bianchi said the fact that they brought charges could indicate their confidence of an eventual conviction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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