OCA Archbishop Pleads Not Guilty in Child Sex Abuse Case

November 18, 2011  [, ]

The Winnipeg Sun writes:

Former archbishop Kenneth William (Seraphim) Storheim has pleaded not guilty to molesting two 10-year-old boys.

A former archbishop with the Canadian arm of the Orthodox Church in America has pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually assaulted two boys during the time he worked in Winnipeg.

Kenneth William (Seraphim) Storheim, 65, appeared Thursday for a preliminary hearing into allegations he abused two 10-year-old boys between December 1984 and June 1987.

At the time, Storheim was a rector at Holy Trinity Sobor, located at the corner of Manitoba Avenue and McKenzie Street in the North End.

A publication ban prevents the printing or broadcasting of any evidence presented by the Crown at Thursday’s hearing.

Storheim flew to the city last November to turn himself into police, who were holding a warrant for his arrest. He was quickly released on a promise to appear in court.

He had stepped aside from his high-level position in the church months earlier.

The church said Storheim had been granted a leave of absence while police investigated the accusations; Storheim suggested he stepped aside for health reasons.


Fr. Ted Bobosh writes to clarify the article’s statement that Archbishop Seraphim is an ex-Archbishop:

As a point of clarification, Archbishop Seraphim is, I believe, considered under suspension by the OCA’s Synod of Bishops, so he has not been defrocked nor has his title or episcopal rank been taken away from him by the OCA.

Sadly, as the news story relates, Archbishop Seraphim’s accounts of why he was originally put on leave of absence do not match other facts known from statements from the OCA which was clear that he was first put on Leave of Absence because allegations of sexual misconduct had surfaced.   He had also on another occasion denied knowing what the allegations were about but certainly others knew and some discussed it with him.

The court is supposed to make a determination today as to how to proceed with the case.


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