Mom Would Drop US off with the Priest for the Weekend. He Would Get US Drunk. He Called It Bug Juice. Then He Would Start Taking off His Clothes

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels
February 8, 2009

The affable priest convinced the mother of five it would be better to leave the children with him when she came to Ward, South Carolina, to visit her family, who were Methodists. The priest served a mix of Kool-Aid and alcohol he called “bug juice” and I know I’ve heard of that concoction before in other stories, maybe in New Orleans? Does anyone else remember?

“One thing my sisters and brother and I have all talked about is we know he had alcohol in there. We’d feel dizzy and kind of sick feeling, you know."

The person on the phone put a video on YouTube last month “Betrayed” captured here at City of Angels about sexual assault by Fr. James McCarthy of Ward, South Carolina. We contacted the person who produced the video, a single dad in a small town who at this time is not revealing his name, so he could tell his story here at City of Angels.

We've also with the help of some friends put together McCarthy’s assignment record as a priest, which is at the end of this post.

The survivor of James McCarthy agreed to “phone it in,” which is something we do here at City of Angels, taking advantage of the weird job skill I have. I can take down what people say almost as fast as they say it. Here is the rest of his story, as phoned in to City of Angels, of an incredibly horrific predator and the way he infiltrated this family.


My parents met James McCarthy (picture at left from obituary) at the church in Ward, when they would visit my mom’s parents. She was a Methodist who became Catholic when she met my dad. The rapes went all the way to sodomy

It started with him exposing himself, then graduated to him touching me and getting me to touch him then oral sex and finally into the full thing.

He would give us Kool-Aid mixed with alcohol, he called it bug juice.

I remember he would do this little strip tease and he used to wear this bikini underwear.

A lot of times I think we’d probably be passed out or he would get us to the point where we were of course - we’d go lay down and then he’d come get one of us.

CITY OF ANGELS: Where were you?

I can remember the inside of that rectory like it was yesterday. It was a small church and there was a pool, like a fish pond in between the church and the rectory. My brother and myself were supposed to sleep in sleeping bags, downstairs.

The town was Ward, South Carolina, name of church is St. Williams.

Mom would drop us off and then -

Depending on who it was, if it was all of us kids, or just myself and my brother. Sometimes it was just myself and sometimes one of my sisters so it depends on who was where doing what. One of the memories that my brother and I have is him giving us the bug juice, and then he put this music on, this strip tease music on.

He would tell us that if we said anything we would go to hell, and our whole family would go to hell. He’d describe Hell. He would say what hell is like, people burning and in agony.

We were scared to death. He would tell us that if we said anything we would go to hell, and our whole family would go to hell. He’d describe Hell. He would say what hell is like, people burning and in agony. It was a horrible picture that he painted so of course we didn't want to say anything.

He was someone that was close to god our parents had said to give him -

He would bring us upstairs to a living room where he had his television and couch, he had a little refrigerator in there with Bug Juice concoction already made up and he would get us started drinking that, and of course we're wiped out.

CITY OF ANGELS: What made you decide to put the video up on YouTube?

I’d done some other videos, but not about this. In addition to myself, my three sisters and my brother were also abused by this priest. I'm trying to kind of keep them out of it.

I made the little video, because there’s articles about him on the web about how wonderful he was

Up until very recently (with release of stories nationwide about pedophile priests) my sisters and brothers thought nobody else was involved. We all thought it was just our family.

That's what prompted me to contact an attorney and then there was just something inside me that I wanted to put out. So I made the little video, because there’s articles about him on the web about how wonderful he was

He showed up in our lives around 1961, and at that time his name was Father Leo. Then he changed his name to Father Jim McCarthy.

(Janet Patterson reined me in telling City of Angels that in McCarthy’s religious order, it’s common for priests to change their names, not sure signs the guy was a criminal through and through as I immediately started thinking….)



Leo McCarthy aka James McCarthy started with me about age seven up until 10 he left in 1971. He left then

CITY OF ANGELS: Where did he go?

He just vanished. He was one of my parents’ best friends. He would go everywhere we went, the beach with us. Then in 1971

City of Angels: So as one sibling got older, he would go onto the next (as happened in my family causing devastating sibling rivalry that prevented a normal relationship between me and my sisters, to this day, sixty years later.)


I have one brother and three sisters. We actually all still get along well, but me coming forward is causing some tension, because my mom didn't see what was going on. My dad was a very staunch Catholic.




Father James McCarthy died in San Diego last year. He had joined a different religious order that allows priests to marry, and his wedding to a former nun was in Hollywood, California (where I live now, funny coincidence).

There are only about 20 people who transcription this
way. We all work in reality TV and because there are no scripts, our job is integral to putting together a reality program. It’s a great job I do from home. And a God thing that I have this skill so I can take down people’s stories.

So: Phone In Your Story to City of Angels (email me at ) and we will run it like this story phoned in about Father James (aka Leo) McCarthy of Ward South Carolina.



James (Leo) McCarthy Names in the Directories:

1957-1966 Leo McCarthy
1967 Leo J. McCarthy in Charleston section; Leo McCarthy in index
1968-1972 James W. McCarthy


1956-1957 St. William's, Ward SC in Charleston diocese [2/2]
1957-1958 St. Pius X, Norfolk VA in Richmond diocese [3/3]
1958-1960 Holy Redeemer, Eufaula AL in the Mobile-Birmingham diocese [2/2]
1958-1960 Holy Family, Eufaula AL (mission of Holy Redeemer)
1958-1960 St. Pius X, Union Springs AL (mission of Holy Redeemer)
1958-1960 St. Mary's on the Hill Retreat House, Union Springs AL (connected to Holy Redeemer)
1960-1961 St. Pius X, Norfolk VA in Richmond diocese [3/4]
1961-1962 Father Judge Mission Seminary, Silver Lake PA in Scranton diocese [7/7]
1962-1965 Immaculate Conception, Dublin GA in Savannah diocese [2/3]
1962-1965 V.A. Hospital Chapel, Dublin GA
1962-1965 St. Julianna, Ft. Valley GA (mission of Immaculate Conception)
1962-1965 St. William's, Sandersville GA (mission of Immaculate Conception)
1962-1965 Sacred Heart, Irwinton GA (mission of Immaculate Conception)
1962-1963 stations of Immaculate Conception in: Cochran GA
1962-1965 stations of Immaculate Conception in: Perry and Jeffersonville Missile Base GA
1965-1971 St. William's, Ward SC in Charleston diocese [1/1]
1969-1971 St. John of the Cross, Batesburg SC [administrator, 1/1]

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