Reader Paul Sidebottom

Reader Paul Sidebottom
Reader Paul Sidebottom

Reader Paul Sidebottom was a teacher of religious classes and assistant to the seminary dean at St. Herman Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska. The seminary belongs to the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Diocese of Alaska. At the time Sidebottom was there, the bishop was Nikolai Soraich.

In August, 2007, Sidebottom wrote to Metropolitan Herman Swaiko to allege that a drunken Archimandrite Isidore Brittain had sexually assaulted him. The archimandrite was Soraich’s chancellor. Soraich subsequently removed Sidebottom from the seminary staff.

The OCA’s investigation into these allegations was undertaken by Father Alexey Karlgut. After this investigation appeared to have stalled, Sidebottom filed a complaint with the EEOC in February of 2008.

The complaint was settled in December of 2008. Reportedly, that settlement mandated revision of the OCA’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. Since at least August, 2009, Sidebottom’s attorney, James C. Spencer, has participated in meetings of the OCA’s Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee, which is examining and updating the guidelines.