SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Many congregants entering the Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco on June 18 were surprised to see a young man standing at the door holding assigned alleging that “I was sexually abused at St. Nicholas Range in 2002.”
The 27-year-old Greek-American alleges that the was sexually abused by a Greek Orthodox priest during Confession in 2002 while attending camp at St. Nicholas Range in Dunlap, CA which is under the Greek-Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco.
Twelve years old at the time, he was sent to confess his sins and the priest allegedly attacked him and now he is trying to find information and photographs to identify his attacker, because he wants to make sure no other boys will be molested by him.
Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco verified the information. Also,he sent out a news announcement stating the following:
“The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Metropolis of San Francisco take all allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously and we grieve for all those affected in such cases.
“Upon learning of the allegation of an incident at St. Nicholas Ranch in 2002, an investigation took place. We have not been able to confirm the information furnished regarding this allegation. The investigation will continue should new information become available. Anyone with information on this situation or any matters related to sexual misconduct is urged to contact us at: 212-774-0332.
For a number of years, all St. Nicholas Ranch camp staff have been required to pass background checks and undergo misconduct training in compliance with the Youth Protection Manual for Archdiocesan and Metropolis camps and retreats. The safety of our children attending our camps is of the utmost importance and we work and pray, constantly, for their protection.”
It is reminded here that the Archdiocese has paid more than $20 million since 2001 for out-of-court settlements and legal fees for pederasty cases and other forms of sexual abuse. Many cases were from the time of Archbishop Iakovos and other cases during the current archbishop, Demetrios.
A classic case was the one of Nicholas Katinasinitially in Chicago, who was later transferred to Dallas, TX, and as TNH revealed, the Archdiocese was forced to defrock him.
Gerasimos told TNH that “a young man who today is 26 or 27 years old claims that he had gone in 2002 to camp at St. Nicholas he went for confession and a priest attacked him.I was not Metropolitan here at that time, I came in 2005; the late Antonios was Metropolitan then.” Asked if the young man had personally informed him, Gerasimos said “no he didn’t come here personally, but he went outside of the Annunciation Cathedral holding a sign. We are searching to find who that priest was; I have given directives to explore all the possibilities.
“Please note that we as a Metropolis and as an Archdiocese have absolute respect for the children who attend the camp at St. Nicholas Range and the sacredness of that place. These are holy things. Also, for many years now, all those who go to the camp to serve and work are obligated to have a background check of their past because the safety of the children is our first priority.”