Second Suit Accuses Retired Priest of Sex Abuse

By Peter Smith
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
April 5, 2003

A second man has accused a retired Roman Catholic priest of sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed yesterday against the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Ronald Hagan, 45, alleges that the Rev. James W. Thompson sexually molested him during trips in the 1970s to places such as Northern Kentucky and Kings Island, Ohio.

Hagan says in his lawsuit he attended unidentified churches "wherein Thompson was the rector." Hagan could not be reached for comment.

On Tuesday, plaintiff Hugh McCarty alleged that Thompson abused him in the late 1960s and early 1970s during out-of-town trips while McCarty was a student at St. Mary High School in Marion County, where Thompson was rector.

Thompson, 85, retired in 1987 and is living in a nursing home, according to Cecelia Price, spokeswoman for the archdiocese. For health reasons, he has not been involved in ministry for several years, she said. Thompson was ordained in 1944.

Price said she could not comment on pending litigation.

Hagan is represented by attorney Phillip Prater.

The archdiocese faces 220 lawsuits alleging that the church knew of sexual abuse by priests and others associated with the church and covered it up. It has settled five others.


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