B.C. church worker who sexually assaulted 11 jailed for 6.5 years

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Seventy-eight year old Raymond Howard Gaglardi has been jailed for six and a half years for a string of sex attacks against boys and men he met at churches in Vancouver and Coquitlam.

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According to Supreme Court of B.C. Justice Paul Riley, Gaglardi committed the offences over a period of 40 years — starting in 1971 — against 11 male victims aged 10 to 30.

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“All of the victims were much younger than Gaglardi,” Riley wrote in his sentencing report. “In each instance, Gaglardi took advantage of a position of trust, exploited the vulnerability of the victim, and touched the victim in a sexual manner. Many of the victims suffered substantial and prolonged impacts as a result of Gaglardi’s offending behaviour.”

Gaglardi was found guilty of the offences last September.

Court heard the attacks occurred during two periods. The first from 1971 to 1981 while Gaglardi worked in various functions at the Glad Tidings Temple in Vancouver. The second was between 1993 and 2015 at the Hillside Community Church in Coquitlam.

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Gaglardi would use his role as a counsellor to isolate his victims and then use a variety of ploys to touch their genitals.

At trial, Gaglardi’s lawyers presented 14 character references. However, Riley noted “the case law recognizes that in view of the secretive nature of sexual offending of the sort engaged in by Mr. Gaglardi, character references of this sort are of limited value.”

Riley also noted that Gaglardi’s wife believes his claim that he has done no wrong (Gaglardi pleaded not guilty to the offences).

“The crimes committed by Gaglardi were perpetrated in private, in a context where his reputation and good standing in various churches was actually one of the factors that led the victims to place trust in him,” Riley said.

Gaglardi will serve his sentence in a federal prison.

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