Former Priest Faces Sex Charges

September 30, 2015

By: Alison Langley, Niagara Falls Review

Beckett Personal Injury Office's Scales of Justice's article image

A lawyer who represented three altar boys who were molested by Donald Grecco says he's not surprised the defrocked Catholic priest now faces new sex-related charges involving young boys.

"It didn't surprise me at all," Rob Talach, of Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers, a London, Ont., law firm, said Friday.

"I sensed there were more (victims). This is a confirmation of where my gut was all along."

The Haldimand detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police this week arrested 75-year-old Grecco following an investigation into sexual abuse complaints involving two boys dating back almost 40 years.

Police allege the incidents occurred between 1977 and 1982 involving two boys ages 10 and 14 at locations in Niagara Falls, Haldimand County and the United States.

During that time, Grecco was a priest at St. Thomas More Church in Niagara Falls, St. Kevin's Church in Welland and St. Stephen's Church in Cayuga.

Grecco, who now lives in Peel Region, has been charged with two counts of gross indecency and two counts of indecent assault on a male. He is scheduled to appear in a Cayuga court to answer to the latest charges on Dec. 8.

Grecco previously served as a pastor at St. Mary’s in Welland, St. Alexander in Fonthill, St. George’s in Crystal Beach and St. Vincent de Paul in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He was ordained in 1966.

In March 2010, Grecco pleaded guilty to three counts of gross indecency after he sexually abused three teenaged altar boys in the 1970s and parts of the 1980s in Welland and Cayuga.

He was sentenced to 18 months behind bars and two years’ probation.

Grecco’s victims from that trial launched civil lawsuits in 2010 against the St. Catharines native, the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Catharines and its former bishop, James Wingle.

Talach, who represented the victims, said the civil suits have been settled but he could not discuss the financial aspects of the cases.

Wingle resigned from his position as bishop by letter in April 2010. It is not known if his resignation was related in any way to the Grecco case.

"Nothing, as far as I know, surfaced about (Wingle) knowing," Talach said of the previous cases.

"But, this might breathe new life into that because potentially there are two new victims who may have had interaction with the diocese."

Police ask anyone with information on the new charges to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Det. Sgt. Margaret Devine of the Niagara Regional Police sexual assault unit confirmed Niagara police are assisting in the investigation.

In Niagara, anyone with information can contact police at 905-688-4111 ext. 5110.

Published on September 25, 2015

Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

April 12, 2024

Sexual Assault – Police or Sue?

Read today's blog to understand the ins and outs of reporting sexual assault crimes to the police.

Read More
Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

April 12, 2024

I’ve Been Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident. How Does This Work?

After you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you have two avenues of recovery. One is called accident benefits, and the other is a lawsuit, also called a tort claim. Read on to learn the nuances of each path.

Read More
Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

April 9, 2024

London Police investigating fatal crash between motorcycle, vehicle

One person has died after a motorcycle and a vehicle collided in the city’s east end early Saturday evening.

Read More