Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

First witness called in Orthodox archbishop sex-abuse trial

  • Print

The trial of an Archbishop of the Orthodox Church of America for sexually abusing two 11-year-old boys in the summer of 1985 began this morning.

Seraphim Storheim pleaded not guilty this morning to two counts of sexual abuse between June and August of 1985.

The first witness this morning was one of the victims, now 39 years old.

A publication ban was imposed prohibiting the disclosure of the identities of the two victims.

The witness often sounded confused and repeatedly contradicted himself when questioned by Crown prosecutor Breta Passler and defence counsel Jeff Gindin.

The witness said that he suffers from a variety of mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, panic attacks and other mental health issues, and is heavily medicated.

The man admitted he had trouble recalling the order of events and who was present during his alleged encounters with Storheim.

The man said that during the summer of 1985, he was in Storheim’s house when the then-priest would regularly walk naked and encouraged the boy to touch his genitals.

Storheim would often offer him money to sleep with him, the man said. "I started to get freaked out … ‘no, get away from me, get away from me,’" the man said.

The man said he repeatedly told his mother about the then-priest’s advances but he said she refused to believe him.

Storheim was the highest-ranking Canadian cleric in the Orthodox Church in America until officials suspended him November 2011, days after Winnipeg police laid charges against him following a lengthy investigation.

Storheim was accompanied to court by several supporters.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

Comments are not accepted on this story due to a publication ban.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Vigil held in support of homeless homicide victims

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009
  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google