Joliet Diocese and Former Priest Facing Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
By Janet Lundquist
June 18, 2013
A man who claims that a Joliet Diocese priest sexually assaulted him more than 36 times on various religious retreats during the 1970s has filed a lawsuit against the priest and the diocese.
Former priest Lawrence Gibbs supervised the retreats at his cabin in Wonder Lake, Ill., where Daniel Gorski, now of Wheaton, claims Gibbs gave several teenage boys alcohol and pornography and had them play games, swim and perform other activities naked.
Gorski, who was an altar boy at Christ the King Parish in Lombard while Gibbs served there, said he attended retreats at Gibbs’ cabin between 1977 and 1980 and was assaulted by Gibbs each time.
In the lawsuit, filed Friday in Will County Circuit Court, Gorski says he was raped on at least 36 separate occasions. He was intoxicated during the incidents, did not understand what was happening and suppressed the memory of the assaults, according to the lawsuit.
It says the memories came back to Gorski after he heard the story of a sexual abuse survivor at his new church, began attending a support group and contacted the Joliet Diocese in December 2011 to report his abuse by Gibbs. The lawsuit contends that diocesan officials knew about Gibbs’ behavior but allowed him to continue serving as a priest.
Diocese spokesman Edward Flavin said Monday that the diocese had not seen the lawsuit and he declined to comment on it.