Hermosa Beach Priest Sentenced After Guilty Plea in Molestation

Author: James Rainey
Date Published: 03/08/1990

A Greek Orthodox priest was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges that he sexually molested two teen-age boys he met through a Hermosa Beach church youth group.

Stanley Adamakis, 47, received less than the maximum sentence from Torrance Superior Court Judge Cecil J. Mills in exchange for his admission that he fondled the two boys, then aged 16 and 18, whom he met after he began working with youths at St. Cross Episcopal Church.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Ron Geltz said that if the case had gone to trial, Adamakis could have been sentenced to 13 years in prison, whereas defense attorney Marvin Part said the priest faced a term of more than 20 years.

Both sides said they were satisfied with the outcome, which will make Adamakis eligible for parole in about five years.

”We are all happy. We are all relieved,” the mother of the 16-year-old said after the sentencing.

Adamakis, who faces being defrocked, chose not to contest charges that the molestations violated his probation on a prior sexual assault case. He was convicted in 1986 of molesting two adolescent brothers in Torrance.

Mills sentenced Adamakis to eight years in prison for the probation violation and an additional 20 months on the new charges of sexual battery and child molestation.

Adamakis did not address the court but his attorney, Part, said the priest is ”very sorrowful and remorseful about the whole situation.”

The arrest of Adamakis, affectionately called Father Stan by St. Cross parishioners, shocked and disturbed the congregation last December and eventually led the church’s two top officials to step down.

As a Greek Orthodox, the heavyset, bearded and jocular priest might have seemed out of place when he first arrived at the Episcopal church a year earlier, but parishioners said they were reassured because he was introduced to St. Cross by Assistant Rector Richard E. Wescott.

Wescott and other members of the church said they allowed Adamakis to counsel church teen-agers, not realizing that he had been convicted three years before of the Torrance molestations.

Police said Adamakis was house-sitting at a parishioner’s home last August when he crawled into bed and fondled the 16-year-old, who had arrived home before his parents. In December, Adamakis brought beer to another parishioner’s home where three teen-age boys were having a sleep-over, police said. It was there that he got in bed with the 18-year-old, not a member of the church, and began to caress him, police said.

Wescott resigned, saying he had been ”foolish” not to recognize Adamakis’ problem.

The Rev. Jack D. Eales, the church’s rector, retired a few weeks later, citing the stress of the Adamakis case and previous accusations against the church that arose during the McMartin Pre-School molestation case.

During the preliminary hearing in that case, a boy testified that he had been taken with other children to the church, where they saw hooded figures sacrifice a rabbit in a satanic ritual.

McMartin prosecutors later said the boy’s description was probably a nightmare. But St. Cross parishioners and Eales said that, despite the disavowal, they continued to be dogged by false accusations of child molestation and satan worship.