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Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Former Cardinal Could Encourage Victims To Seek Help

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has resigned from the College of Cardinals over sexual abuse allegations. An investigation found evidence he had abused a teenager 47 years ago.
Jonathan Newton AP
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has resigned from the College of Cardinals over sexual abuse allegations. An investigation found evidence he had abused a teenager 47 years ago.
The impending civil sex abuse lawsuit of defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick could lead to more men speaking up about their past sexual trauma.

Next month, a former Catholic Cardinal will face criminal charges in Massachusetts for alleged sexual molestation.

Theodore McCarrick is the highest ranking member of the U.S. Catholic clergy to be criminally charged with sex abuse. The charges stem from an alleged incident involving a teenage boy that happened more than 45 years ago.

RELATED: The Pope Is Toughening Church Laws On Sex Abuse, Fraud And The Ordination Of Women

Many of the sex abuse cases involving boys and young men are not reported until the victims are adults, and in the past many such reports have been disbelieved.

Allen Ruyle is a psychotherapist in San Diego who works with male survivors of sexual abuse.

He joined Midday Edition on Monday to talk about why it sometimes takes male sex abuse victims many years to come forward.