Ex-archbishop charged with sex crimes

Author: Bob Holliday
Date Published: 11/25/2010

A former archbishop with the Orthodox Church in America has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.

Kenneth William (Seraphim) Storheim, 64, was charged by Winnipeg police Wednesday shortly after he arrived in Winnipeg from his home in Edmonton and surrendered to police.

A warrant had been issued for his arrest on Nov. 16.

Storheim was promptly released from custody on a recognizance and a cash surety, said Const. Natalie Aitken, a spokeswoman for Winnipeg police.

Aitken declined to release further details about the case to protect the identities of the alleged victims.

The investigation began last July when one of the alleged victims filed a complaint with police.

Storheim is accused of molesting two boys, aged 10, while he was a rector at Holy Trinity Sobor in Winnipeg between December 1984 and June 1987.

The church is located at the corner of Manitoba Avenue and McKenzie Street.

A spokesperson for the victim’s advocacy group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), Cappy Larson, previously accused the New York-based church of failing to take any actions when informed of the allegation back in the 1980s.

In a 2009 letter to the OCA, SNAP also noted Storheim sent a letter of apology to the two alleged victims.

Born in Alberta, Storheim also worked in Ottawa, Edmonton, London, Ont. and North Carolina. He was the church’s Canadian archbishop until he stepped aside in May.

The church said Storheim had been granted a leave of absence while police investigated the accusations; Storheim issued a different reason for stepping aside.

“Having also seen my physician, I was informed that this leave is rather overdue,” Storheim wrote in a public statement at the time.

Anyone with any information concerning the allegations is asked to contact the Winnipeg police sex crimes unit at 986-6245.