OPP release priest sex abuse charges
Ontario Provincial Police released more details Wednesday on the sexual assault charges against 54-year-old Gabriele (Gabe) DelBianco, a former Catholic priest in Wallaceburg and Windsor, Ont.
OPP Const. John Reurink, said DelBianco was charged with three counts of sexual assault relating to incidents that took place in Lambton County in the early 1980s.
"Mr Gabriele DelBianco was arrested when he turned himself in to the Lambton OPP on the 8th of April," said Reurink. "He was charged with those offences and then released."
One woman pressing charges
Reurink said the charges all relate to one woman who was a teenager at the time of the alleged crimes, but wouldn't release any more details about the incidents, saying it was before the courts and could compromise the identity of the alleged victim.
The matter was brought to the attention of Bruce County authorities and passed on the Lambton County OPP, he said.
"The information we have is that both the victim and Mr. DelBianco resided in the Chatham-Kent area in the 1980s, however the offences in this matter that we've investigated are alleged to have occurred in Lambton County," said Reurink.
The constable couldn't comment on the six other women who are launching civil suits against the Diocese of London and DelBianco. He also said there are no other active investigations involving DelBianco at the present time.
Rod Dale, the London lawyer representing the seven complainants, said the woman pressing criminal charges had just settled a six-figure civil suit with the diocese just over a week ago.
OPP in Essex County told CBC News that there were no investigations in their jurisdiction related to DelBianco.
The Diocese of London said DelBianco was ordained in 1982. He worked at churches in Wallaceburg, Windsor and Tecumseh, and served as a chaplain at high schools in Windsor and Tecumseh.
According to a statement issued by the diocese, allegations against DelBianco came to light in 1994. At that time, he left active ministry, and quit the priesthood two years later.
A statement on the Diocese of London's website said it apologizes to the victims, and has offered to pay for counselling.
Delbianco, known as Father Gabe when he was a priest, is a resident of Auburn, Ont., near Goderich, and was a family relationship counsellor at the company he founded called Innerfit.
He is scheduled to appear in a Sarnia, Ont., court on May 16 to answer to the charges.