Reports: Thomas J. O'Brien, priest at center of sexual abuse lawsuits, has died

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A priest accused in several sexual abuse lawsuits has died, according to media reports.

The Kansas City Star reported Thomas J. O'Brien died earlier this week at 87.

O'Brien spent decades as a priest in the Kansas City area, including posts at St. Elizabeth's and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Independence.

He was a party in lawsuits that accused him of sexual abuse of boys, including one in which a victim's family received more than $2 million.

In a release sent to media on Tuesday, Barbara Dorris of the organization SNAP said she hoped alleged victims would feel a "measure of relief and closure."

"Missouri's most awful predator priest will never again hurt a child," she said in the statement.

41 Action News contacted the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph, who did not choose to comment for this story.

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