Bosnian Orthodox Priest Charged for Pedophilia

Date Published: 03/26/2009
Publication: Balkan Insight

The Office of the Public Prosecutor in Bosnia’s northern district of Brcko, has pressed charges against a local Bosnian Serb Orthodox priest, who is accused of sexually abusing two underage girls, local media reported on Thursday.

The priest was charged after police investigated the case for more than a year. Because of the sensitivity of the case and since it involves underage girls – one 14 and one 16 – the Prosecutors’ office has ordered that no further information should be given to media until the end of the judicial process.

However mother of one of the two girls has told media that the priest has turned her daughters ”childhood into hell.” She only learned about the sexual abuse after her daughter showed severe signs of depression and attempted suicide twice.

This case comes only a month after another similar case of pedophilia shook the country. On February 13, the Court in the central Bosnian town of Travnik in the first instance sentenced a local Imam (Islamic priest) Resad Omerhodzic to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing an underage girl. Omerhodzic’s lawyer appealed the decision and the process is still ongoing.

Yet this case of pedophilia was quickly overshadowed by verbal clashes between Bosnian Islamic Community and several media organizations, which came as a result of heated public debate about the role of religious communities in the Bosnian society during and after the 1992-95 war.