- Gleb Grozovskii
Father Gleb Grozovsky is a priest with the Moscow Patriarchate, Diocese of Gatchina. The clergyman is the son of an archpriest and is married with 4 children.
A criminal investigation was opened against Grozovsky in August of 2013. He was accused of abusing 2 Russian girls, ages 9 and 12, at an Orthodox summer camp in June, 2013. He was also being investigated for perpetrating similar crimes in Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region. On November 1, 2013, a Russian court issued an arrest warrant for the priest, who had left the country. On November 6th, law enforcement officials put Grozovsky on an international wanted list.
Grozovsky has denied all the accusations. He also said on his social networking page that he was working with drug addicts in Israel with the blessing of his superiors.
On November 19, 2013, the priest was suspended by his diocese for the duration of the criminal action. The diocese also announced that his posting in Israel was terminated and urged him to return to Russia.
Grozovsky was the senior priest of the Church of John the Warrior in the village of Maloye Verevo in the Gatchina district until mid-October, 2013. He also left his position as the deputy chairman of the Youth Department of the Saint Petersburg diocese at that time.
In addition to serving at the parish in Maloye Verevo, some news reports said that the priest worked with the children’s village SOS. In January, 2013, Grozovsky gave a talk at the annual Saint Herman’s Youth Retreat of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The priest also served at the representation church of the Orthodox Church in America in Moscow on May 17th, 2009.
In September of 2014 Grozovsky was arrested by police in Israel pending extradition. A court ruled in favor of extraditing the priest to Russia in January of 2015. Grozovsky’s family indicated that the ruling would be appealed.
In addition to the 2013 allegations, proceedings in the Israeli courts revealed that Russian investigators also believe that Grozovsky molested several children under the age of 14 at an Orthodox children’s camp on the island of Konevets, in the Priozersky District of the Leningrad Region, in 2011. At the time, he was a clergyman at the Assumption (Sophia) Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo.
In April of 2016, the Israeli Minister of Justice signed an order of extradition for Grozovsky. That decision was appealed. However, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected that appeal.
Grozovsky was extradited back to Russia in September of 2016.
In June of 2017 the criminal case against Grozovsky was forwarded to a Russian court. The preliminary hearing is set for June 13, 2017.
Through his attorneys, the priest has said that the charges against him are politically motivated.
Grozovsky was convicted in January of 2018 and sentenced to 14 years in prison. He appealled the sentence, but the appeal was denied in April of 2018.