November 25, 2011
Jay Triano's father charged with sex offences
By Dan Dakin and Brett Clarkson, QMI Agency
NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. - Howie Triano, the father of former Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano, has been released on bail after being charged with several sex-related charges involving children.
The elder Triano, a retired teacher and high school principal, appeared in St. Catharines, Ont., court just after 11 a.m. Friday. The 78-year-old is charged with two counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference.
He was released on a $20,000 bond posted by his wife Muriel Triano and will make another court appearance in St. Catharines Jan. 11.
Triano's lawyer, Andrew Furgiuele of Toronto law firm Sack Goldblatt Mitchell, said his client is still trying to come to terms with the situation.
"I think what he would be able to tell the public is that we're still learning about these allegations and that he and his family and his counsel will be working their hardest to defend them. And when the time comes, he'll give his version of events of what happened," Furgiuele said.
According to Niagara Regional Police, investigators received information earlier this month regarding a complaint of a sexual assault against a young girl. This matter was investigated by the NRP child abuse unit and, during the course of the investigation, police became aware of allegations of sexual offences allegedly committed against another young female within the last five years.
At his court appearance Friday, Triano was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair, which he has used since suffering a number of strokes in 2008. The grey-haired senior wore glasses, black pants, a sweatshirt and a black leather coat. As he sat beside his lawyer, he looked straight ahead and only spoke when asked if he understood the conditions of his release.
As conditions of his bail, Triano is not to have any contact with the alleged victims, use the Internet, be alone with anyone under the age of 16 years, or go to public places where youths under 16 years old would likely be.
After Triano was released from custody, Furgiuele left through the front doors of the courtroom and addressed the media while Triano was picked up in the courthouse's underground garage area by his son, Jay, and was whisked away to the Triano family home in Niagara Falls.
"I think with any family, no matter what their status is in the community, allegations like this are very difficult," Furgiuele said. "But from what I've seen of the Triano family, they're very tight-knit and caring. They'll do the best that they can to pull through this during the process."
At Howie and Muriel Triano's two-storey house in Niagara Falls on Friday afternoon, a silver Lexus driven by their son arrived in the driveway shortly after the court appearance.
Jay Triano got out and declined to comment about the charges against his father when asked by a reporter.
Jay, along with his mom, then helped the visibly frail Howie out of the front passenger side of the Lexus.
Asked if he had any comment, Howie didn't say anything.
Clutching a cane, Howie struggled to walk and was held up by his son until they reached the inside of the house, where he was lowered into a wheelchair.
Police said the investigation is continuing and anyone with information is urged to contact the police at 905-688-4111 ext. 5100 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.