Holy Cross student Accused of Sexually Abusing a Teenage Girl Was a Drug Addict
BOSTON, MA – John Smyrni, the married student enrolled at the Holy Cross Theological Seminary in Brookline, MA who reportedly sexually abused a teenage girl on campus was a drug addict. He is Greek-American, 52 years of age, and married with six children.
TNH first broke the story on June 15, 2012.
The School expelled him immediately and the state had taken his children into custody after his wife also tested positive for drugs immediately after she had given birth to their sixth child.
The blog titled “Republican Blogspot” had reported the following on Tuesday August 5, 2008:
“John Smyrni, a consumer advocate who has been through the system as a drug abuser with children, tells how he got off meth at age 42 even while raising six children. He lost his children to the system, and explains that even though he loved his children he found that he needed the meth even after losing his children. His children were taken away with ten minutes’ notice after his wife tested positive for drugs after giving birth to their sixth child. He finally was able to admit drug use that he had been hiding from a counselor. It took him seven months to go through the system to kick his addiction and get his children back.”
Rev. Nicholas Triantafillou, president of Hellenic College – Holy Cross, told TNH on June 15 that “the only thing I can tell you is that the School took immediate and appropriate action [regarding the suspect and the victim and her family].”
Triantafillou refused to discuss the girl’s condition or whether the authorities had been notified. Despite TNH’s persistence in seeking further comment, he said “I cannot say anything else at this moment. The issue is legal and the lawyer has told me to be careful.”
After TNH broke the story Triantafilou sent a “confidential memorandum” to the entire Hellenic College – Holy Cross Community saying, among other things, that “it is with great sorrow and pain that I address you regarding a recent action and ongoing investigation. On April 27, a seminarian was expelled from Holy Cross for an incident of serious misconduct with a young adult woman. Given that she had been a member of our community in recent years as a minor, the police have been contacted by the School regarding this matter”.
Smyrni’s family lived on campus, as did the girl’s family because her father was a student at Holy Cross and already an ordained priest.
The families of the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim knew each other and both lived at the dormitories that were built in the 1980s for the married students and their families. A large portion of the tuition expenses of the students are covered by grants given to the School by Leadership 100 that amount to more than $1 million per year. Today there are more than 60 children of various ages who live on campus.
The teenage girl babysat the suspect’s younger children. She was a high school student in the area but lived with her parents on campus.
TNH has learned also that the suspect was giving drugs to the teenage girl and at some point she was taken to the hospital for overdose.
When the girl’s father found accidentally from another priest he immediately confronted the School’s president, Rev. Nicholas Triantafillou, who seemed to have known everything. Triantafillou immediately expelled Smyrni from the School a few weeks prior to graduation, on April 27. He had been studying Theology to become an Orthodox priest and eventually serve at Greek Orthodox parishes.
The girl is nowhere to be found today. Even her family does not know where she is. Private detectives have been hired to locate her.
Despite many efforts, TNH was unable to communicate with the alleged perpetrator. TNH has learned that his wife took the children and left to return to their hometown in California, while he has stayed behind in the New England area. He has not appeared at the Theological School since was expelled.
His parish priest Fr. Christopher Flesoras from the St. Anna Greek Orthodox parish of Roseville California refused to tell us anything about Smyrni and he also he refused to provide us with his telephone number and other contacts. He assumed the responsibility of communicating with Smyrni and let him know that TNH was looking for him in order to give him the opportunity to tell his side of the story or to comment on the issue, but Smyrni did not communicate with us.
Flesoras sent a written statement to TNH saying that “Thank you for contacting me this afternoon, although I feel it inappropriate for me to comment other than noting that I can only offer my continued heartfelt prayers and hope in the Resurrection for those who were involved, as well as those who were affected. May repentance, forgiveness, healing and righteousness be our common resolve for these individuals, families and our greater Orthodox community.”
TNH has also learned that Triantafillou has fully informed Archbishop Demetrios of America, who is also Chairman of the School’s Board of Trustees. TNH was unable to contact the victim’s family and does not know if they contacted law enforcement or whether they will pursue legal action against the perpetrator, the School, and the Archdiocese.
This story will be updated for the printed edition that will appear on Friday August 24.