Retired Priest Accused for First Time in New Lawsuit

Associated Press State & Local Wire
April 1, 2003

A retired priest was accused Tuesday of molesting a boy decades ago, linking him for the first time with a sexual-abuse scandal embroiling the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville.

Hugh McCarty filed a lawsuit claiming he was sexually abused years ago by James W. Thompson, who at the time was rector at St. Mary's High School in Marion County. McCarty was a student there.

The suit was one of two filed Tuesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Cecelia Price, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said that the 85-year-old Thompson retired from the priesthood in 1988. Price said the archdiocese does not comment on pending litigation.

McCarty said the alleged abuse occurred during trips that Thompson took him on in the summer months after his freshman and sophomore years in high school and in the spring of 1971. The destinations for the trips included Florida and the Bahamas.

The suit named the archdiocese, but not Thompson, as a defendant.

It was the first time Thompson has been accused in the more than 200 lawsuits filed against the archdiocese.

McCarty's suit accused Thompson of engaging in a pattern of sexually abusing children in the late 1960s and 1970s. The suit claimed the archdiocese was aware of the alleged abuse but failed to discipline Thompson or notify law enforcement authorities.

McCarty, 49, seeks compensatory and punitive damages in his suit.

In the other suit, a woman accused a former priest, Joseph E. Carrico, of sexually molesting her in her family's swimming pool when she was 12.

The plaintiff, Evelyn Abell McKemie, said in her suit that Carrico was a friend of her family. McKemie claimed the alleged abuse occurred in the summer of 1968 or 1969. At the time, Carrico worked at St. Barnabas Church and School in Louisville.

McKemie's suit names the archdiocese as a defendant, but not Carrico. She claims that the archdiocese concealed the alleged abuse from law enforcement authorities.

McKemie also seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Carrico was accused of sexually abusing another woman in a separate lawsuit filed last week in the same court.

Price said Carrico was a priest within the archdiocese from 1967-74. After taking a brief leave of absence in 1973, Carrico requested to leave the priesthood.

Carrico currently works as a part-time religious educator at St. Gregory's School in Samuels. He has been suspended with paid pending the investigation.


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