Two Sue Deceased Priest, Diocese

By Sanford J. Schmidt
The Telegaph
September 25, 2008

EDWARDSVILLE - Two women have filed suit against a deceased priest, a former church and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, claiming the late priest abused them 30 or more years ago at St. Kevin's Catholic Church.

Deanna M. Stewart and Paula J. Ford both claim the Rev. Frank O'Hara abused and assaulted them when he was senior pastor and priest at St. Kevin's Catholic Church in Rosewood Heights. The church since has closed and has been consolidated with another church into Holy Angels Catholic Church.

The suit filed in Madison County Circuit Court claims the priest assaulted and abused them at various times between 1971 and 1978.

They claim they became injured both psychologically and physically and will incur expenses to treat their problems. They also are claiming damages as a result of loss of a normal life and will suffer "great mental damages."

Each woman sued the late priest, the church and the diocese for a total of six counts, asking for damages of at least $50,000 on each count.

A spokeswoman for the diocese said it was aware of the suit but did not have enough knowledge of the circumstances to make a comment.

The women are represented by David Dugan of East Alton.



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