Former clergyman pleads guilty to sex abuse charges

Date Published: 05/15/2003

NEW YORK — A defrocked Greek Orthodox clergyman who founded his own church in Queens has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy.

Pangratios Vrionis, 59, was arrested last April on charges of third-degree sexual abuse and attempted sexual abuse. Prosecutors said that on Feb. 1, 1999, he showed the teenager a pornographic videocassette and touched him sexually.

As part of a plea deal, Vrionis pleaded guilty to both charges in Queens Criminal Court Wednesday in exchange for a year of probation.

Vrionis refers to himself as the archbishop of his own independent church, Sts. Fanourios & Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Authorities have said he was defrocked from the Greek Orthodox church after being convicted of sexually abusing two boys in 1970.

Queens Criminal Court Judge Steven Payner also ordered that Vrionis get counseling and be registered as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.

A telephone listing for Vrionis or his church could not be found.