Catholic Teacher Faces Molestation Trial

Capital Times (Madison, WI.)
March 20, 1993

A judge Friday ordered a trial for a Roman Catholic prep school teacher accused of sexually molesting a student, but dismissed charges against another man.

John Raniszewski, 40, was one of the St. Lawrence Seminary high school employees who graduates said last year molested them when they were students years ago.

Judge Peter Grimm ruled there was enough evidence to assign Circuit Court trial for Raniszewski on a charge of second-degree sexual assault.

Raniszewski, who worked in the school's infirmary, was accused of fondling a boy in 1986 during a physical examination.

Raniszewski, now of Warren, Mich., won't plead guilty, his Milwaukee lawyer Gerald Boyle said.

Grimm dismissed charges against former athletic director Thomas Gardipee, 35, who was charged with enticing a minor for immoral purposes. Fond du Lac County authorities accused him of exposing himself to a student in 1987.

"The judge did seem to find there was lewd and lascivious conduct but that is a misdemeanor and outside the statute of limitations," District Attorney Thomas Storm said. "I think it was a very narrow finding that the enticement did not take place."

Boyle, who also represented Gardipee, said: "I'm just gratified one half of this nightmare is over with."

"I'm just gratified that finally we have beaten one of these things because there is enough of clergy-bashing going on out there," Boyle said.

After the hearing, Gardipee said he intends to remain with the Capuchin order whose Detroit office operates the seminary.

"The Capuchins continue to be saddened by these events," the seminary said in a statement. "Out of concern for everyone involved, we hope the public and media will withhold judgment and maintain an open mind until this case can be tried fairly in court."


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