One man is dead and his wife briefly hospitalized after an allegedly drunk driver rammed into them Saturday, a driver who happened to be a former priest accused of molesting dozens of children.
The above scene is the tragic aftermath of a Saturday night car accident that was an alleged DUI, but there are many more layers of awfulness to this story. The incident occurred at 9:15 Saturday night at the Rossmoor retirement community in Walnut Creek, and took the life of 64-year-old Rossmoor resident Curtis Gunn. But as NBC Bay Area Reports, the driver in the incident was Stephen Kiesle, “A notorious defrocked Oakland priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of children.”
Kiesle has already done six years in prison for a 1995 molestation case, though he has plenty of other accusers. According to NBC Bay Area, Kiesle was “booked into the Martinez Detention Facility Saturday night on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI,” and is currently being held on $250,000 bail. Walnut Creek police are awaiting his blood-alcohol level test results.
The Rossmoor facility has put out a statement about the incident, as Kiesle, the victim Gunn, and Gunn’s wife Laurelyn are all residents at the senior facility. Laurelyn was briefly hospitalized but released, and in another absolutely awful aspect to this story, this is the second time she’s been widowed.
“This can’t be happening to me again,” was the first thought that went through her head, she said in the release. “It doesn’t lessen the blow, but it does help my understanding of what I’m going through.”
As for Kiesle, his sex crimes continued for decades, and are horrifying. NBC News reported that “Kiesle had been sentenced in 1978 to three years' probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct for tying up and molesting two young boys in a San Francisco Bay area church rectory.” But the Diocese of Oakland allowed him to stay on and work with children, and he accumulated more accusation before being defrocked in 1987.
Above we see Curtis Gunn, the fatal victim in all this. He was a retired IT support specialist for the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and as a younger man, spent three years working for the National Park Service at Yellowstone Park. According to Rossmoor, his wife Laurelyn “asked that in lieu of flowers, donations in her husband’s memory be made to Yellowstone National Park.”
Image: Rossmoor Public Safety