Former Priest Faces Sex Charges

September 30, 2015

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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

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