Orthodox archbishop denies sex assault accusations at trial
Court heard defence testimony Thursday from an Orthodox archbishop accused of sexually assaulting two pre-teen brothers in Winnipeg three decades ago.
Thursday morning, Seraphim Storheim responded to one of the allegations that one of the brothers saw him naked, touching himself.
“It didn’t happen. I’ve never done that,” Storheim told the court.
The brothers, now adults, previously testified Storheim walked around naked and asked them to touch him sexually.
Storheim denied those allegations Thursday. He also testified he never saw the boys naked.
When the first brother came to visit in 1985, Storheim said he did talk about puberty — a discussion he said was prompted by the mention of bodily discharges in Genesis. It was a spontaneous discussion, he said.
Storheim testified his only intention was to explain the scriptures.
He described the coversation about puberty with the boy as, “One of the stupider things I’ve done in my life.”
Storheim became the top cleric in Canada for the Orthodox Church in America in 2007 and is on leave pending the verdict. The church is separate from other Orthodox religions such as the Greek Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The trial is continuing in Winnipeg.
– with files from Caroline Barghout and The Canadian Press