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Two Mo. Women Allege Abuse by Priest

Jun 26, 2003 | AP

Two women claim they were sexually abused during a school trip over a decade ago by a Roman Catholic priest recently blamed for a 30-year-old man's suicide.

The women, now 23 and 24, filed lawsuits alleging they were molested by Rev. Michael McGrath as first-year students at Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis. Their names were not given. The lawsuits name McGrath, the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Archbishop Justin Rigali, and seek unspecified damages.

Earlier this month, Allen Klump filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, contending that his son Christopher Klump, 30, committed suicide in March due to the toll from abuse he suffered in the 1980s.

Klump said Thursday he felt encouraged that other alleged victims of McGrath were coming forward. ``It's getting the attention we want to get to save more and more kids,'' he said.

Several attempts to reach McGrath, 57, by phone at his suburban St. Louis home were met with a busy signal.

Terry Edelmann, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese's Catholic Education office, said she had just received the lawsuits and couldn't comment on them.

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