Former local priest facing jail time

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Siobhan Morris, 610 CKTB News

12/13/2010

A former Niagara priest and admitted child molester is facing time behind bars.

Donald Grecco will serve 18 months in a Brampton jail for his abuse of altar boys in the 1970s and 80s.

The sentence was handed down Monday in a Hamilton court.
 
Justice Hawk ordered Grecco to be added to the national sex offenders registry and to submit his DNA to be kept on file.
 
Once released, Grecco will serve two years of probation.
 
He will not able to work or volunteer in a position of authority over anyone under 16 years of age.
 
Jim Hennessey, the father of James Hennessey , one of Grecco’s victims was in the courtroom Monday.
 
He calls the sentence “a travesty of justice”.
 
 
Hennessey tells 610 CKTB News the sentence amounts to a stay at an upscale hotel.
 

He feels three years behind bars for the former priest would have been more fair.

The Crown was aiming for a sentence between two and half and four years.

Grecco’s lawyer Brian Donnelly wanted a conditional sentence to be served in the community.

But Justice Hawk told the court such a sentence would not have been appropriate.

She cited Grecco’s breach of trust and authority and the number of sexual incidents.

Hawk did not think Grecco’s health problems were reason enough to keep him from behind bars either.

The 70 year old is suffering from many ailments including colitis, arthritis, hypertension and anxiety.

Grecco, dressed in a maroon fleece sweater and jeans remained stone-faced through the proceedings.

One of Grecco’s victims, Michael Blum, was visibly upset after the sentence.

Blum left the court abruptly, teary-eyed, hand in hand with his wife, not stopping to talk to reporters.

610 CKTB News contacted Blum’s lawyer in a civil suit against Grecco for comment.
 
Robert Talach tells us, with Grecco eligible for parole in six months the sentence “speaks for itself”.
 
Grecco is the subject of two separate $3 million civil suits by victims Michael Blum and James Hennessey.

The St. Catharines Diocese and its former bishop James Wingle are also named in both cases.

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