Beaten Priest Summoned Back to Crete

January 4, 2010

The National Herald reports new developments in the Florida incident which made national news when U.S. Marine reservist Jasen Bruce was accused of attacking Father Marakis with a tire iron.

Priest-monk Alexios Marakis, assistant priest at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida, will return to his native Crete immediately after the 2010 Epiphany celebration, having been directed to return by Archbishop Ireneos of Crete. U.S. Marine reservist Jasen Bruce, 28, has been accused of attacking Father Marakis, apparently with a tire iron, after mistakenly identifying him as a terrorist because of his long beard, hair and Greek Orthodox clerical garb.

In a telephone interview with The National Herald on Sunday evening December 27, Fr. Marakis said, the “case is at the hands of the courts,” and he added, “they called me in last week and I gave another deposition.” He said, “it was the third deposition that I have given, the first one was at the hospital the day of the incident, the second one three or fours days later, and the last one on December 17 if I remember well.”

Asked if he proposed, through his attorney Jerry Theofilopoulos, to waive prosecution if the Marine reservist admits that there is nothing sexual about the encounter that resulting in the beating, Fr. Marakis said, “Yes, we said if he goes public to say the truth, as he did when he said those lies, we are willing to help him.” If his attacker stands by his allegations Fr. Marakis said, “we will go ahead in the courts.”

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