The sex abuse trial of ex priest turned counsellor Gabriel De Bianco starts tomorrow morning (Tuesday, 15 October 2013) in the Sarnia, Ontario courthouse. The trial is booked for about eight days.
Those who have been following the site for some time will recall when these charges were first laid away back in April of 2011. The complainants have been waiting for this day for a long time. We have been waiting with them. Finally, it’s here.
The last I knew there were at least five complainants who had come forward to have criminal charges laid. There are a 19 charges. You may recall that Gabe Del Bianco, who left the priesthood in 1996, has admitted fathering the child of one of his victims. You may also recall that he was working as a counsellor in Kincardine, Ontario and, believe it or not, after he was charged had set up a new counselling business optimistically called “After the Storm” counselling. His wife Pat was working as his receptionist. I phoned to ensure it was him and that he had in fact started up under a new name. Yes to both. When I asked Pat how Del Bianco can carry on counselling when he is facing several sex abuse charges she hung hung up.
I urge those who can get to the Sarnia courthouse over the next eight days to please do so. The complainants need your support. Please please try to get there – if not for every day of the eight, for a few days, and if not for a full day every day, for a few hours every day. It is so important that victims/complainants know there are people there in the courtroom supporting them.
If you do go be sure to find out what if any publication bans are in place. Usually there is a ban on the publication of the names of the complainants and anything which might identify them, beyond that all that is said and seen in the courtroom is usually reportable. BUT, please ensure that you know what if any bans there are in place. If you are unsure, check with courtroom staff during a break.
We will all be waiting for news. Pass on any news, and please send links to all media coverage.
And, yes, as always, keep the complainants – and their families – in your prayers. These are stressful days for all.
Paul Leroux‘ trial was scheduled to start today (Thanksgiving Monday) at 10 am at the Battleford, Saskatchewan courthouse. I didn’t realize when I originally posted the dates that the start date is was Thanksgiving Monday. Perhaps an error in booking the court? or, perhaps it makes no difference that it’s a holiday? I see no coverage so think perhaps it will be starting tomorrow.
I urge those in the Battleford and surrounding areas who can do so to please attend. The trial is booked to last three weeks – if you can’t attend for all those days then please try to squeeze in a few days of each week, or a few hours each day. It’s so very important for the complainants to know there is support in that courtroom.
As I said above, if you do go be sure to find out what if any publication bans are in place. Usually there is a ban on the publication of the names of the complainants and anything which might identify them, beyond that all that is said and seen in the courtroom is usually reportable. BUT, please ensure that you know what if any bans there are. If you are unsure, check during a break with courtroom staff.
As always, please keep the complainants in your prayers, and please send links to any and all media coverage .
Someone heard via the grapevine that I was looking for a picture of Father John E. Sullivan! And there was the pic in my mailbox when I checked after my family headed home this evening 🙂 I will post it in a few minutes.
Enough for now,