Friday, October 29, 2010

Priest re-arrested
Former priest arrested while awaiting sentencing
Published On Wed Oct 6 2010EmailPrint
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Donald Grecco, a former priest from the Diocese of St. Catharines, runs from a Hamilton courthouse after a sentencing hearing last June. He pleaded guilty to sexually molesting three former altar boys.

Jim Rankin/Toronto Star

A former St. Catharines Catholic priest awaiting sentencing for sexually abusing three altar boys has been arrested for breaching conditions of his release.

Ontario Provincial Police arrested Donald Grecco, 70, on Wednesday. An officer at the Prince Edward County detachment said more details would be available Thursday.

It was not immediately clear what condition had been allegedly breached. Such a charge typically results in automatic jailing. Common release conditions include residing at a specified address and reporting regularly to police.

Grecco pleaded guilty in March to sexually abusing three former altar boys between 1978 and 1986. Despite complaints to the diocese, he remained a priest for nearly two more decades.

He was due to be sentenced in a Hamilton court Oct. 29. The sentencing hearing has twice been delayed due to Grecco’s unspecified health problems.

The breach charge came a day after Mike Blum, one of Grecco’s victims, announced a $3 million civil suit, naming Grecco, the Diocese of St. Catharines and its former bishop James Wingle as defendants.

Blum, now 46, was 14 and serving as an altar boy in a Cayuga church in 1978 when Grecco’s abuse began.

Although Grecco has pleaded guilty to molesting Blum and two others in criminal court, many of the allegations contained in Blum’s civil suit have not been proven in court.

The statement of claim has been served on the diocese, but Wingle could not be found.

A process servicer was also having trouble serving Grecco at the address where he was expected to be, Blum’s lawyer, Rob Talach, said on Tuesday.

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