Archbishop’s sex charges back in court next week
The case of the orthodox archbishop facing sex-crime charges in Manitoba will be back in court next week, but his lawyer predicts it could be a month or more before a trial goes ahead.
Archbishop Seraphim Storheim was the highest-ranking Canadian cleric in the Orthodox Church in America until church officials suspended him in November, days after Winnipeg police laid charges against him. The former Winnipeg cleric faces sexual-abuse charges, the result of a lengthy police investigation this year into allegations Storheim sexually abused two teenage boys while he was a priest in Winnipeg 30 years ago.
The first court date was Jan. 10 and at that time the case was put off until Feb. 8.
Jeffrey Gindin, the archbishop’s lawyer, said the defence is still waiting for essential information from the Crown on the details of the case against the archbishop. Such disclosure offers defence lawyers a chance to prepare their cases to counter evidence against their clients.
Gindin said the earliest the case could go to trial is mid-March.
Meanwhile, clerics and parishioners with his church posted YouTube videos this month to get their message of support out.
Gindin said his email box is filled with messages from orthodox priests and bishops asking for updates on the case.
A month ago, a Chicago-based advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse waged a successful battle to stop supporters in a Russian-speaking Vancouver parish from using the church’s website to raise defence funds.