February 03, 2006

Joliet Diocese sued

Daily Southtown

Friday, February 3, 2006

Special to the Daily Southtown

Two more men filed lawsuits against the Joliet Diocese on Thursday, claiming Bishop Joseph Imesch and other diocese officials are responsible for alleged sexual abuse by former priest Michael Gibbney.

Bobby Drish, 38, and David Mortell, 37, accuse Gibbney of molesting them beginning when they were 11 and 13 years old in 1979 and 1981, respectively. The lawsuits claim that Imesch was aware of Gibbney's inappropriate conduct with boys at Mary Queen of Heaven parish in Elmhurst when the bishop moved him to St. Dominic and St. Francis of Assisi parishes in Bolingbrook.

Imesch was aware of accusations that "Father Gibbney sexually molested several boys. His response was to move Gibbney to another parish rather than limit his access to children," said Joliet attorney Mike Bolos, who represents both men. "Rather than protect these children, they played a shell game that protected their priests."

Posted by kshaw at February 3, 2006 08:27 AM