- Views & Opinions
Before sentencing a former school bus driver to prison for molesting young boys, the judge ridiculed the defendant for claiming to be a heterosexual.
“I think you were born gayer than a sweet smelling jock strap,” Judge Philip Kirk of Waupaca told Delton Gorges, 71, before sending him to prison for seven years on counts of sexual assault of a child, repeated sexual assault of a child and two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. Gorges will serve 15 years of extended supervision after his prison release.
Kirk said he believes Gorges was the victim of a homophobic society in the 1940s and 1950s.
“No one knew there was a closet to come out of in those days,” the judge said. “You know you had to be very careful, because you could have found your penis floating in the Wolf as walleye bait. It was a terrible life to have to live.”
But Kirk added, “I think that if anyone believes that in the last 10 years or 15 years all of a sudden you developed an interest in homosexuality and young boys, then I must have looked ravishing in my prom dress this year.”
A video of the judge’s remarks were posted online by Fox 11 WLUK-TV.
Although the judge’s rant sounded sympathetic toward gay people, critics told Fox 11 they were concerned that it linked homosexuality with pedophilia.
“Sometimes people don’t say the right thing, but they potentially mean well,” said Andrew DeBaker, co-chair of the gay rights group New Pride. “The thing that concerns me is the linking homosexuality, linking being gay with, in this case, child molestation.”
Gorges, who drove a school bus for 33 years, pleaded no contest to the charges.