Court reserves decision in ex-archbishop’s sex assault appeal
Court questions photographs presented by Seraphim Kenneth Storheim’s lawyer as new evidence
Manitoba’s Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on an appeal by Seraphim Kenneth Storheim, a former archbishop convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy in the 1980s.
Storheim’s lawyer, Jeff Gindin, appeared before the court on Friday morning with photographs that he claims call a key witness’s testimony into question.
The photographs show that the witness was not with Storheim in 1985, but in 1986, Gindin said.
But the appeal court justices questioned the validity of the photos and whether they show the boy in question and whether they were, in fact, taken in 1986.
It was pointed out that the witness who presented the photos to Gindin has not signed an affidavit. The justices also questioned why the witness did not come forward during the trial.
The judges say the new evidence isn’t particularly “material.”
The Crown argued that the photos are unverified, and even if they were admissible, they would not be enough to overturn the conviction.
Prosecutors told the court that the only affidavit signed regarding new information was by an administrative assistant who was unable to verify the identity of the boy depicted in the photographs.
Gindin has argued there was not a “fair analysis of evidence” during the trial.
The hearing continued until about 1:30 p.m., with the justices reserving their decision on the matter.
Storheim was found guilty in January of sexual assault involving one of two brothers who claim they were assaulted by the then-priest when they were pre-teens.
The brothers, who are now in their 30s, testified during the trial that they lived with Storheim briefly, on separate occasions, when they worked as altar boys in 1985.
With files from the CBC’s Katie Nicholson