January 27, 2006

Diocese Sued Over Alleged Assault

The Ledger

By Cary McMullen
The Ledger


A $5 million lawsuit was filed against the Catholic Diocese of Orlando Thursday by a former Lakeland resident in connection with an alleged assault by a former Lakeland priest.

The lawsuit was filed in Circuit Court in Orlando on behalf of a woman identified only as Jane Doe. The suit claims that the diocese was negligent in failing to protect Doe from Wladyslaw Gorak, also known as Walter Fisher, who was a parochial vicar, or assistant pastor, at Church of the Resurrection from February to December 2004.


Gorak was arrested in May 2005 on charges of burglary with assault, false imprisonment, aggravated stalking and battery. According to a report from Lakeland police, he forced his way into a woman's home in October 2004, threw her to the floor and tore some of her clothes off. He remains in jail awaiting trial.

The suit named as defendants the Diocese of Orlando, which has jurisdiction over parishes in Polk County, and the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., where Gorak was a priest before coming to Lakeland. It claims the archdiocese failed to disclose that Gorak was implicated in a previous stalking incident in New Jersey and that the Orlando diocese ignored Doe's complaints that Gorak was harassing her.

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2006 08:27 AM