Former Archbishop Kenneth (Seraphim) Storheim claimed that he was not guilty of the alleged sex assault.
Mr Storheim is blamed of two counts of sexual assault which involves 2 pre-teen brothers. These young children were members of a parish in Winnipeg's North End. Mr Storheim was suspended 3 years back after having his tenure of being the highest-ranking cleric in the Canadian diocese of the Orthodox Church of America. The suspension took place after he had been charged of the same. Storheim started testifying on Thursday to defend himself.
Mr Storheim described the two children as hard working and vivacious yet mischievous. He considered them among the average children. He mentioned that he had met the family first in Ontario, after which he shifted to Winnipeg probably in 1984. It was during those days when the brothers were sent to work and live with Mr Storheim at the Winnipeg church. They were brought up a single mother.
Even though the former Orthodox archbishop denied charges against him of sexual assault, he did confess that he had had a discussion with one of the boys regarding puberty. Mr Storheim considered the discussion as one of the most unwise things he had ever done in his life. He told Justice Christopher Mainella that he had regretted getting engaged in such a conversation with the boy.
Mr Storheim informed the court that the mother of the boys had called him later on. She seemed pretty angry while she talked to him. She told him that she had sent the boys to be taught about scripture, not about any dirty stuff. Mr Storheim said that he had had the realisation that she was referring to the conversation regarding puberty.
The accusations against Mr Storheim include walking around naked and asking the boys to touch him sexually. When defence lawyer Jeff Gindin asked him if he had ever displayed himself naked intentionally, Mr Storheim denied the allegations vehemently.
He also answered negatively when asked if he had ever invited either of the boys to touch him inappropriately. Mr Storheim also added that he had never seen either of the boys naked.
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