Orthodox archbishop charged with sexual abuse

Author: Staff
Date Published: 11/25/2010
Kenneth Storheim (Photograph by: Postmedia News)
Kenneth Storheim (Photograph by: Postmedia News)

WINNIPEG — A former Archbishop of Canada in the Orthodox Church whose career has taken him around the world has been arrested by Winnipeg police on two charges of sexual assault.

Kenneth William Storheim, 64, surrendered to police Wednesday after an investigation into sexual abuse allegations dating back 30 years led to charges.

It’s been alleged previously that the abuse took place in the 1980s, when two boys — both ten years old at the time — were visiting Winnipeg. At the time, Storheim would have been a priest.

Last month, the Orthodox Church in America said it had launched an internal investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct.

On Thursday, police said a publication ban is in effect, and that no further information will be provided, in order to protect the identities of the victims involved.

Storheim, based in the eastern Ontario rural community of Spencerville, has been on a leave of absence since the start of October.

Born in Edmonton, Storheim began his religious career as an Anglican priest, but later converted to the Orthodox Church and became a monk.

He was ordained as a priest in New York in 1979, and became a bishop in Edmonton in 1989. He became the Archbishop of Ottawa and of Canada in March 2007.

He has also served in Winnipeg, Moose Jaw, Sask., London, Ont., and in locations in Europe and the United States.

Storheim has been released on a recognizance with a cash surety to appear in court at a later date.

The Orthodox Church in America is thought to have more than one million members and is the 24th largest Christian denomination in North America.