THIS is what Lebedeff’s doing… it’s a Three-Card Monte game, and you’re a fool if you get suckered into it…
The Queen’s Bench has formally charged Storheim. Full stop. Lebedeff is blowing smoke. If someone’s under formal charges, they should stay away from kids. Lebedeff’s defending Storheim’s actions… shame on him. Formal charges are formal charges and no amount of bluster can change that.
Firstly, this is what Alexander Lebedeff posted on the Orthodox Forum:
Regarding the following interchange (quoted below) between Harry Coin and Stan Shinn regarding safe environments for children, and which is safer, the school or the church, it is interesting to note headlines and articles in the British press, just published:
“Nearly half the allegations made against teachers in England are malicious, unsubstantiated, or unfounded, a government study suggests. According to the Department for Education survey, only 3 percent of investigations resulted in a criminal caution or conviction for the teacher. Schools Minister Nick Gibb said the research justified the government’s plan to give teachers a legal right to anonymity when pupils made claims”.
“Schools Minister Nick Gibb said the research justified Government plans to allow teachers facing potentially career-wrecking allegations to remain anonymous while investigations took place. The founder of the child advocacy group, ChildLine, Helen Rantzen, is quoted as being in support of the proposed anonymity provision for those accused. She was in favour of the anonymity provision because of “terrible” cases in which “good and committed” teachers had been “to hell and back” after false allegations were made against them”.
I’m sure that the people in the United Kingdom are just as concerned about the safety of children as those here in the States, but with half of all abuse allegations against teachers and school personnel found to be “malicious, unsubstantiated or unfounded”, safeguarding the reputations of innocent teachers must also be important. A person’s reputation is like toothpaste… easy to squeeze out of the tube, and impossible to put back.
So… there’s clearly a conundrum. Abusers must be punished and children must be protected. At the same time, the damage to a person in authority (a priest or a teacher) falsely accused is immeasurable. How can this be intelligently resolved?
With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
He plays his violin prettily, doesn’t he?
What did Sergeant Friday say? “Just the facts, ma’am”… here are the facts:
- Seraphim Storheim isn’t just facing accusations
- Seraphim Storheim isn’t merely under investigation
- The Queen’s Bench determined that there was enough evidence to press criminal charges against Seraphim Storheim
Most accusations die in the preliminary investigation. Only a minority of accusations go on to be further investigated, and of these, most are found to have insufficient evidence for trial. That’s to say, Alexander Lebedeff is throwing smoke in your face. The charges against Storheim have passed both stages, and the Queen’s Bench agrees that there’s enough evidence to proceed. I should also mention that a lawyer in Halifax put out a notice for any additional victims of Storheim to come forward. In short, this isn’t unfounded, and Mr Lebedeff KNOWS it. He’s quoting surveys that are inapplicable to the case at hand.
Remember the stages:
- Preliminary investigation
The charges against Storheim are almost at the trial stage; they’re not mere accusations, as Mr Lebedeff snarkily implies in his post. In short, Mr Lebedeff is being his usual hyperclericalistic self. He’s intelligent… he’s competent… he’s educated… but he also believes that clergy have a “get out of jail free” card. DO you remember how he savaged Kristi Koumentakos, but that he was silent about the payoff to Bobby K? It’s OK when the faithful’s money goes to pay off legal settlements for clergy, but not for layfolk. For shame, Mr Lebedeff… if you kept your silence concerning the Bobby K payoff… that meant that you supported it.
There’s no two ways about it. Any clergyman (or anyone else) facing formal charges of sexual abuse or paedophilia should stay away from kids… full stop. Storheim had to post a surety bond… that means that he DOES face real charges in a real court of law. If that’s the case, he should stay away from all parish affairs in all parishes. This is cockamamie and insane… you don’t allow a man under formal charges to just roam about.
Give Lebedeff an “A” for effort… give him an “F” for substance. He’s defending clerical malfeasance, yet again. A man facing formal charges in a duly-constituted court of law has no right going where there are kids… and the people defending such are out of their gourds, frankly speaking. This is monstrous and noxious… as I say, if this were a layman, Lebedeff would be leading the lynch mob. I’ve got to walk away from such manifest shit. Reflect on what we’ve come to… well-connected priests make excuses for criminally-charged bishops. Good God Almighty… doesn’t that offend any one?
Let’s leave with a quote from Mr Lebedeff:
A person’s reputation is like toothpaste… easy to squeeze out of the tube, and impossible to put back.
If such is so… he owes Kristi Koumentakos a public apology. After all, he did attack her in public, didn’t he? If he wrote the above quoted line, it applies to him, too!
Monday 17 October 2011