Women sue deceased priest, St. Kevin's and diocese over alleged abuse

Kelly Holleran Sep. 19, 2008, 1:20am

Two Madison County women have filed suit against a deceased priest who formerly served at St. Kevin's Catholic Church, alleging the priest sexually abused them for seven years.

Deanna M. Stewart and Paula J. Ford claim Frank O'Hara sexually abused and assaulted them on various occasions between 1971 and 1978, according to a complaint filed Sept. 15 in Madison County.

The abuse happened at St. Kevin's Catholic Church in Rosewood Heights, the suit states.

As a result of the abuse, they claim they were injured physically and psychologically and have suffered a loss of a normal life and great mental anguish.

They also claim they have incurred medical costs in an attempt to cure themselves from injuries.

Also named as defendants in the suit are St. Kevin's Catholic Church and the Diocese of Springfield.

In the six-count suit, the women are seeking a judgment in excess of $300,000, plus costs of the suit.

David W. Dugan of East Alton will be representing the women.

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