Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Second alleged victim of sex abuse testifies

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A man who alleges he was sexually abused by an Orthodox priest almost 30 years ago said the man would regularly walk around his house naked and usually spent breakfast time lying on the floor holding his genitals.

The man, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, told the trial of Seraphim Storheim he was shocked to see the priest naked.

"Seeing a naked man (for the first time) was quite disturbing," the man, 11 years old at the time, testified Tuesday.

Storheim is charged with two counts of sexual assault involving two brothers during the summer of 1985. He pleaded not guilty to the charges when the trial began Monday morning.

Storheim today is an archbishop with the Orthodox Church in America, which has historical ties to the Russian Orthodox Church. He had been the most senior cleric of his church in Canada when the charges were laid in the fall of 2011, holding the title of archbishop of Ottawa and Canada but was subsequently suspended from that post pending the outcome of the criminal charges and an internal church investigation.

The man's testimony was similar to that given by his brother, who testified Monday. The man said he and his brother separately visited with Storheim in the summer of 1985 and stayed at his home.

The man said he was surprised when Storheim came into his bedroom at night and wanted to inspect his pajamas for semen stains and also examined his genital area for pubic hair.

The man said Storheim told him he was conducting sexual-education sessions for the young boy, who was being raised by a single mother.

"At this point, I did not know what was wrong or what was right," the man said.

The man said he did not tell his mother about the incidents when he returned and tried to block them out of his mind. However, he said he confided to his mother what happened when his brother hysterically called home on a daily basis during his visit to Storheim.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 12, 2013 A6

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