News

Former priest Grecco found guilty of molestation

By Allan Benner, The Standard

Donald Grecco

Donald Grecco

For the second time since 2010, former priest Donald Grecco pleaded guilty to charges related to the molestation of two boys more than 40 years ago.

He was in a St. Catharines courtroom last Friday, where he pleaded guilty to three counts of gross indecency, following the September 2015 arrest of the then-75-year-old by Haldimand County OPP officers.

The charges were related to incidents that took place between 1977 and 1982 in Niagara Falls, Haldimand County and in the United States at a time when Grecco was working as a priest at St. Thomas More Church in Niagara Falls, St. Kevin’s Church in Welland and St. Stephen’s Church in Cayuga.

Grecco is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on Sept. 7.

OPP Const. Rod LeClair said a publication ban is in place on court proceedings.

In March 2010, Grecco also pleaded guilty to three counts of gross indecency for molesting three teenaged altar boys in the 1970s and parts of the 1980s in Welland and Cayuga.

That conviction led to 18 months behind bars and two years’ probation served by the former priest.

Grecco had also 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.

LeClair urged other potential victims to come forward.

“If there are any other victims out there they should report to the local police service,” said LeClair, an officer from OPP’s Haldimand detachment.

abenner@postmedia.com