A B.C. Supreme Court judge has sentenced former church counsellor Raymond Howard Gaglardi to 6 ½ years in jail for a string of historical sex assaults against young men and boys.
Gaglardi, who is now 78, was sentenced last month in a New Westminster courtroom on 11 counts of sexual offences against 11 victims dating back to 1971, according to the court judgment.
Justice Paul Riley outlined how Gaglardi, over more than 40 years, took advantage of his position of trust to exploit the young victims, who ranged in age from 10 to 30.
“Over many years, Mr. Gaglardi acted opportunistically by using his relationships with boys or men who were much younger and less mature than him to engage in sexually inappropriate behaviour.”
Counsellor at 2 churches
The court heard how the assaults happened during two time periods at two different Metro Vancouver churches.
From 1971 to 1981, Gaglardi was a counsellor at the Glad Tidings Temple in Vancouver. He was also the director of the church’s sound and productions department and a teacher at Temple Academy.
The second period in which offences took place occurred between 1993 and 2015 when Gaglardi worked at the Hillside Community Church in Coquitlam, B.C., according to the judgment.
During this time, the judge said many of the victims were also Gaglardi’s counselling, mentorship and holistic natural health practice clients. All were male, between 15 and 30 years of age, while Gaglardi was much older.
“Mr. 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 Mr. Gaglardi’s offending behaviour,” Riley said.
Gaglardi’s defence had argued for consecutive sentences totalling no more than 7 ½ years.
He will serve his 6 ½ year sentence in a federal penitentiary and is to be registered under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for a period of 20 years.