Joliet Diocese Priest "Brutally Raped" Teen in "70s: Lawsuit
By Joseph Hosey
June 14, 2013
A Wheaton man is suing the priest he claims "brutally raped" him dozens of times when he was a teenage altar boy.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of 49-year-old Daniel Gorski against former priest Lawrence Gibbs also names the Diocese of Joliet, former Bishop Joseph Imesch and former Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Ryan as defendants. Gorski's wife, Kandice Gorski, is listed along with her husband as a plaintiff.
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The lawsuit said Gorski was an altar boy at Christ the King church in Lombard when Gibbs was a priest there. In 1977, Gorski started making repeated visits to Gibbs' Wonder Lake cabin to attend religious retreats.
While at the cabin, Gibbs provided the 13-year-old Gorski with alcohol, and after drinking it the teen "perform(ed) activities naked in front of" the priest, the lawsuit said.
Gorski was also "exposed to pornography, fondled and brutally raped by Lawrence Gibbs at his cabin," the suit said.
"Beginning in 1977, Lawrence Gibbs would sometimes put on a pornographic film on the television in a room in his cabin, masturbate in front of (Gorski), and proceeded to perform oral and anal sex on (him)," the suit said.
The lawsuit also alleges that Gibbs fondled and raped Gorski in Christ the King's rectory and sacristy.
The lawsuit said Gibbs showed Gorski pornography at least 100 times, fondled him at least 50 times and "brutally raped him on at least 36 separate occasions."
Gorski "suppressed the memory of his abuse and was unaware of the injury he suffered as a result of the sexual molestation," the lawsuit said. He suppressed his memories out of shame, embarrassment, fear, and psychological trauma," the suit said, but remembered what happened after hearing a speech by another man who said he was sexually abused.
Five other men have sued Gibbs in Will County court. Four of the suits were settled in the 1990s. The fifth, filed in June 2012, remains pending.
Gibbs left the priesthood in 1992, said diocese spokesman Edward Flavin. Flavin confirmed that Gibbs is still alive but did not disclose his whereabouts.
Gibbs "suddenly left" Christ the King in 1980, according to the lawsuit, which went on to claim the diocese "hid the information (about Gibbs) from its parishioners." The lawsuit claims the diocese kept Gibbs' raping and other misconduct—as well as the danger he posed to children—secret "because such disclosure would put the Diocese of Joliet at significant risk of losing millions of dollars per year in the form of donations, pledges or other inflows of cash or cash equivalents."