Man sexually abused by former priest sues Greek Orthodox diocese
BANGOR, Maine — A Vermont man, who as a teenager was an altar server at a Bangor church, has sued in Penobscot County Superior Court the former Greek Orthodox priest convicted of sexually assaulting him, his supervisors and the church community he served.
Adam Metropoulos, 53, was convicted in March 2015 on four felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor following a jury-waived trial. The charges stemmed from the former priest’s sexual assault on a 15-year-old altar server, who is the plaintiff in the lawsuit, at the church in 2006 and 2007.
The man, now 24 years old, is not being named because he was the victim of sexual abuse.
The victim claimed to have sustained severe and permanent physical injury, emotional distress, mental anguish and future and past medical expenses because of Metropoulos’ sexual abuse. He claimed the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, its leader Metropolitan Methodios, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, based in New York City, and the Greek Orthodox community in Bangor were negligent in their supervision of Metropoulos.
The lawsuit did not name St. George Greek Orthodox Church by name.
The lawsuit was filed Friday by Lewiston attorney Verne E. Paradie Jr.
Efforts to reach the archdiocese in New York, which would be responsible for defending those named in the lawsuit, were unsuccessful Friday.
The Metropolis of Boston removed Metropoulos from his position at the Bangor church the day after his arrest.
Metropoulos was sentenced in April 2015 to 12 years in prison with all but 6½ years suspended. He is incarcerated at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, according to information posted on the Maine Department of Corrections inmate locator site.
The lawsuit quoted the victim impact statement read by a friend at Metropoulos’ sentencing.
“The statement read, in part: ‘ This man stole my life,’” the complaint said. “‘He picked it apart and put himself where he plead. … My formative years were spent learning how to hide what I felt behind a mask. I learned so well I could smile when my heart was full of fear and laugh when all I wanted to do was scream.
“‘He told me I was special and that no one would understand, no one but him,’” the statement continued. “‘I was completely alone… I have been drifting through life ever since, unable to make meaningful connections with anyone.’”
The victim told no one of the abuse, the complaint said, until after he learned through news reports that Metropoulos had been arrested and accused of possessing child pornography and photographing a woman, who was a guest in his home, without her permission in the bathroom.
“[The victim] phoned his family and encouraged them to come meet him in Vermont,” the lawsuit said. “During the family meeting, [the victim] made a full disclosure of the abuse that he had suffered at the hand of Metropoulos. At the urging of his family [the victim] called [Bangor police] detective Tim Shaw and made a full report.”
Paradie said he hopes a civil trial can be avoided so his client does not have to testify again about the sexual abuse he endured.