Complaints on Priest Filed

St. Paul Pioneer Press
November 3, 1993

Two sexual-abuse complaints against a Robbinsdale priest were filed in Hennepin County District Court Tuesday, an attorney for the two female plaintiffs said.

According to the civil complaints, the Rev. John E. McGrath was serving at St. Helena's Catholic Church in Minneapolis when he sexually abused and "exploited" the two plaintiffs on church grounds between 1966 and 1969.

The women - 16 and 14 when the alleged abuse began - were St. Helena's parishioners and worked in the church office and rectory during the late 1960s, according to attorney Jeffrey R. Anderson.

The lawsuits accuse McGrath, now serving at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Robbinsdale, of sexual battery and breach of fiduciary duty. The plaintiffs each seek damages in excess of $50,000.

The women only recently disclosed the alleged abuse and are undergoing therapy, Anderson said.

Also named in the complaints are St. Helena's Church and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. An archdiocese spokeswoman could not be reached for comment Tuesday.


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