Queens Priest Nixes Plea Deal on Teen-Sex Charges

Author: Jessie Graham
Date Published: 05/15/2002

A Queens Orthodox priest, accused of molesting a teen parishioner, rejected a plea deal yesterday, vowing to fight the charges against him – even now that several more alleged victims have come forward, authorities said.

Assistant District Attorney John Carroll offered Pangratios Vrionis 30 days in jail and a year of probation for pleading guilty to third-degree sex-abuse charges for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old boy in February 1999. He faces three months in jail if convicted

Lawyer Roger Stavis said he rejected the deal because his client is innocent. ”He’s being falsely accused of a crime,” he said. ”When you’re falsely accused of a crime, you defend yourself.”

When asked what Vrionis, who is out on $1,500 bail, has been doing since he was brought up on the new charges last month, Stavis said the self-proclaimed archbishop of the Holy Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis in Woodside ”has a parish to run.”

The boy Vrionis is accused of molesting was a student in the pastor’s Greek and religion classes.