05 January 2011
By Jason Miller
An area judge has questioned why the Crown is seeking to bring a convicted child molester back to the Quinte region when had already served time for his bail violation.
Former Roman Catholic priest Donald Grecco, who is currently serving an 18-month jail term after he was sentenced by a Hamilton judge in December, was not present in Picton court Wednesday when Justice Geoff Griffin addressed the bail violation.
Grecco was scheduled Wednesday to appear in the Picton provincial court for breaching his residency requirements while he was released on bail on the child molestation charges. He was ordered to remain at a Prince Edward County address to await his sentencing after he pleaded guilty in March to three counts of gross indecency.
Crown attorney Joe Dart told Justice Griffin that it was his understanding that Grecco was in custody in Hamilton and is yet to be transferred to the Quinte Detention Centre to answer the breach charges.
Following his Dec.13 sentencing for the child molesting counts, it was recommended that Grecco served his time at a Brampton jail that specializes in providing extensive treatment for sexual offenders.
Griffin seemed somewhat perplexed as to why the Crown was pushing to have Grecco “sit down” at a Napanee jail when he could be receiving treatment for his issues in Brampton.
He said the disgraced ex-priest, who is in jail for abusing three altar boys in the 1970s and 1980s, should be allowed to resume treatment at the sexual offenders clinic, “which is where he should be.”
Griffin agreed to adjourn the matter until Jan. 19, to provide the Crown with ample time to table a resolution.
Griffin said Grecco already served 21 days for the breach following his arrest by Prince Edward County OPP in October. The 70-year-old St. Catharines man was released from the Napanee jail on Nov. 5.
“The reason the Crown agreed to release him (for the breach) was because he had done enough time,” Griffin said.
Michael Blum and James Hennessy, two of the victims who were abused some 30 years ago, have both filed $3 million lawsuits against the ex-priest.
In the lawsuit documents filed, Blum alleges abuse and negligence. When Blum’s lawyers attempted to serve Grecco with the lawsuit papers, they could not find him as he wasn’t at the address where he was supposed to be.
He was later found and arrested by Prince Edward County OPP.
The civil suit claims haven’t been proven in court.
Grecco was ordained in 1966 and served as a pastor at St. Kevin’s and St. Mary’s churches in Welland, St. George’s in Crystal Beach, St. Alexander in Fonthill, St. Vincent de Paul in Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Thomas More in Niagara Falls and St. Stephen’s in Cayuga. Grecco was in his 12th year as a priest when the abuse began.