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updated: 8/4/2011 11:28 AM

Lawsuits claim ex-Bartlett priest abused 2 women

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Two women in their 60s have filed lawsuits against the Chicago Archdiocese claiming they were sexually abused as young children by a priest at St. Peter Damian Catholic Church in Bartlett.

The lawsuits, filed by Patricia Vestey and Kathryn Joan Ebeling in Cook County circuit court Tuesday, allege that repressed memories of the abuse began to resurface recently after learning of separate accusations against Horne.

Horne, who died in 1985, had retired in 1973.

Both women, who now live in California, are being represented by Frederic Nessler, a Springfield attorney, who said his clients attempted to settle before filing the suit.

"We worked very hard to try and get it settled but we were unable to," he said.

The archdiocese had not seen the lawsuit as of Wednesday and could not comment, according to a spokeswoman.

John O'Malley, Director of Legal Services for the archdiocese, said the church had attempted to settle out of court by offering counseling, but did not offer financial compensation.

Vestey claims that Horne touched her inappropriately when she was 6-years-old and showed her pornographic materials, according to the suit. Ebeling alleges Horne inappropriately touched her when she was 4 and used a "smoky substance" and a "liquid substance," which made her feel intoxicated, according to the suit.