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Coquitlam man guilty of decades of sexual abuse to be sentenced in early January

Church therapist, 78, to face penalty for sex crimes against vulnerable boys and young men going back half a century.
Raymond Howard Gaglardi is set to be sentenced in January 2023. He's convicted of several sex crimes out of Coquitlam dating back to the early 1970s.

A BC Supreme Court judge is expected to deliver his sentence early in the new year against a Coquitlam man convicted of 11 sex crimes.

Today (Dec. 15), Justice W. Paul Riley told New Westminster court he will give his judgment in January for 78-year-old Raymond Howard Gaglardi — a church therapist in the Tri-Cities, Burnaby and Vancouver who was known to parishioners as "Dr. Ray."

During the morning hearing, Gaglardi's defence counsel, Phillip Riddell, asked the court to impose a six- to seven-year jail term on his client, adjusted to five years — about half of what Crown Counsel is asking under the totality principle.

Yesterday (Dec. 14), prosecutors sought 17 to 24 consecutive years behind bars, reduced to 10 to 12 years, for Gaglardi.

In September, following a trial, Gaglardi was convicted for sex crimes dating back 51 years while he served as a therapist and guidance leader for various churches in Metro Vancouver, including Glad Tidings Church in Vancouver and Hillside Community Church in Coquitlam.

Riddell told the court that Gaglardi and Glad Tidings are now being sued by the victims, some of whom have been watching the two-day sentencing hearing via Microsoft Teams or are in the court gallery.

On Wednesday, the judge heard three of their victim impact statements, describing how Gaglardi took advantage of them when they were young and in a vulnerable state at home. As a result, they had lost their trust for authority figures and the church, and suffered lifelong harm because of Gaglardi's criminal actions.

Riddell asked the judge to deliver a sentence that "is not crushing upon [Gaglardi] given his age. It would be a sentence to deal with his moral culpability."

Riddell also said Gaglardi is no longer counselling and is a low risk to reoffend.

In citing precedent cases, Riddell said the 2020 landmark case R. vs. Friesen, which pertains to sexual crimes against children, "has taken away the lower end of sentencing," and he said it was difficult to find comparable cases for sentencing ranges given that Gaglardi's offences date back to 1971.

In 2021, after a plea by the Coquitlam RCMP for victims to come forward, Gaglardi was charged with 25 counts.

One victim, whose case of sexual assault by Gaglardi was stayed, marched outside the New Westminster Law Courts with a placard on Thursday morning, calling out Gaglardi's name as his abuser. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, help is available.

  • In an emergency, call 9-1-1
  • In a crisis, call 1-800-563-0808
  • To report a person under 19 who needs protection to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, call 310-1234 (no area code required)

You can find a full list of resources on the B.C. government’s website.