MI- Orthodox predator sentenced

Author: Melanie Jula Sakoda
Date Published: 12/27/2014

For immediate release: Saturday, December 27

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Orthodox Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

A former Orthodox subdeacon was recently sentenced to prison on one count of “Child Sexually Abusive Commercial Activity.” We are very grateful that Robert Aaron Mitchell will be kept away from children, at least for a while, and applaud all who contributed to this result.


Mitchell had an earlier conviction for child abduction in Illinois. Despite this 1998 conviction, he was made a Subdeacon by Archbishop Nathaniel Popp on March 2, 2003. According to Popp, Mitchell was stripped of the title of subdeacon more than 10 years later, on November 20, 2013, after allegations of sexual misconduct were substantiated by the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations of the Orthodox Church in America.


Dangerous predators like Mitchell can have many, many victims. We urge Orthodox officials to use all the resources at their disposal to reach out to those who may have been harmed by the former subdeacon.  Anyone who either experienced, witnessed or suspected abuse by Mitchell should contact law enforcement, get help and begin healing.
Contact – David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org, Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org