Former Priest Koveos Demonstrates Need for Listing Defrocked Clergy Online
Note From the Editor of The Orthodox Beacon: Catherine Metropoulos has served on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s Clergy Sexual Misconduct Advisory Board for several years and here writes a followup to Paul Cromidas’ article regarding Pokrov.org. Documents related to the story include her appointment to the Misconduct Advisory Board, and articles related to the Koveos trial here, here and here.
Letter to the Editor:
I write in response to commentary by Paul Cromidas and concur with his very well written article entitled, “A Tribute to Pokrov: 10 Years of Courage and Commitment.” (11-9-09) I join him in thanking Melanie Sakoda, and Cappy and Greta Larson for all that they do to help protect our children, while also fighting for reforms within the Orthodox Church. Education and prevention are crucial, and their vigilance invaluable.
While educating ourselves and our children about those who sexually prey on them still remains our best defense, an extremely important tool in the continuing battle to protect our children is in helping people know who these offenders are. As a member of the Archdiocese’s Clergy Sexual Misconduct Advisory Board, for years I advocated strongly for the Greek Archdiocese to add to their Web site a permanent link naming defrocked clergy, especially those involved in sexual misconduct. Regrettably, our spiritual leaders have yet to comprehend the significance of such a listing, and no such a link has ever been added to the Archdiocese’s Web page.
However, while the Greek Archdiocese continues to reject such a posting on their site, Pokrov.org does include such a list, effectively and successfully providing prevention and awareness, as is evident in the case involving a Greek Orthodox priest in Vermont.
In 1998, the former Father Emmanuel Efthimios Koveos was jury convicted of sexually molesting our pre-teen daughter at our parish in Burlington. Following his release from prison, Koveos moved to Massachusetts through an Interstate Compact between the two states. Falling between the cracks of Vermont’s failed judicial system, however, Koveos never received the court-ordered sex offender treatment as imposed at sentencing, but instead was granted an unsatisfactory discharge from probation and released from Vermont probation, untreated, against recommendations from his probation officer.
Although Koveos under current law won’t ever be identified on Massachusetts’ nor Vermont’s Internet Sex Offender Registries, a quick Google search of his name exposes him, along with his photograph and other public and court documents, as the convicted child molester that he is.
As a result, last year Koveos was recognized from the Internet and the local police notified after discovering that he was driving young girls to their proms, and children for birthday parties in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for a limousine service working out of the greater Boston area.
And a few years ago, even though defrocked by the church in 1999, this former priest presented himself as a respected clergyman to the congregation at the St. George Church in Hartford, Connecticut, where he also partook in performing religious services at this unsuspecting community. Due to Pokrov’s constant vigilance, however, Koveos was recognized and subsequently ousted from the altar.
In closing I would like to respond to comments following Mr. Cromidas’ article that were made by John Koveos, son of convicted child molester and former Greek Orthodox priest, Emmanuel Efthimios Koveos. Undoubtedly, it is his father about whom he references.
The former Father Koveos is NOT a “first time sex offender” as John Koveos so incorrectly states. This was, however, Koveos’ “first jury conviction!” Unlike others before us, we called the police when Koveos sexually violated our daughter and did not contact the church.
As for any “real evidence in this case,” there was plenty; and more than enough to convict