Father Ilarion

Father Ilarion is a priest-monk in the Serbian Orthodox Church. In 2001 he was the abbot of Hopovo monastery in Vojvodina.

The monk was accused of abusing a boy in Ruma in 1994. Those charges were dismissed after the court ruled that the boy’s testimony was unreliable.

Following a police investigation which began in 2001, 9 boys, aged 7 to 11, came forward to accuse the monk of sexual abuse. This trial was stalled because the monk was sheltered in various Orthodox monasteries in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia. However, in 2005 the monk was extradited to Serbia from Croatia after he was accused of indecently exposing himself to Croatian schoolchildren.

The monk was sentenced him to 10 months’ jail, which was increased to 12 months by the second-instance court. However, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict on procedural grounds and ordered a new trial. By the time the order was sent back to the trial court, the statute of limitations had expired.

The monk has said that he was subsequently forced into retirement by the Serbian Church. He also has said that he is innocent of the charges against him.