OCA Priest Sued for Child Sexual Abuse
Father John Soucek, along with the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and Saint Innocent Orthodox Church in Tarzana, Californa, was sued on June 25, 2013 for the sexual abuse of a minor female child (13 years of age). The lawsuit was filed by attorney Barry P. Goldberg of Woodland Hills, California.
According to the complaint, the abuse occurred circa 2000, when Soucek was an ordained reader as well as the choir director at Saint Innocent. At the time, Soucek was also a married man with children of his own.
In addition, the complaint alleged that Soucek sent an inappropriate email to the child, expressing a romantic interest in her, and that this email was inadvertently sent to other members of the parish. The girl complained to the parish priest and brought the email to his attention. The parish priest, Father Gregory Safchuk, did nothing in response. Subsequently, the child was abused by Soucek on at least three occasions. The complaint alleged that there were other victims at the Tarzana parish as well.
Soucek subsequently attended Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. Although the priest is no longer listed among the clergy on the OCA’s website, he worked at Saint Michael Church in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, following his ordination to the priesthood.