The lawyer for a former archbishop found guilty of sexually assaulting an altar boy in the 1980s says Manitoba’s highest court should consider fresh evidence and overturn the verdict. A Manitoba court convicted Seraphim Storheim early this year of sexually assaulting a boy who had come to visit him in Winnipeg in 1985. Storheim’s lawyer, Jeff Gindin, presented three Appeal Court judges with photos and documents Friday that suggest the boy was in Winnipeg in 1986 and not 1985. Storheim’s handwriting on the pictures says a boy “not from here” is participating in a church ceremony in 1986. Gindin argued that the evidence casts doubt on the credibility of the victim and the Crown’s version of events. He told the judges, “I never suggested this evidence taken by itself was a smoking gun. It could’ve been used to cross-examine witnesses presented by the Crown in a different way”.
Justice Alan MacInnes questioned the veracity of the pictures, which don’t name the boy, saying, “This is an exceptional remedy you’re seeking. It’s that way for good reason. At some point in time, cases end”. MacInnes pointed up that Christopher Mainella, the trial judge who convicted Storheim and who now sits on the Appeal Court, didn’t believe Storheim’s testimony, noting, “The irony of this is the person who is accused wasn’t believed by the trial judge and now we’re being asked to believe his evidence. Your own client said it was 1985. On your argument, your client was wrong. Why should we be accepting the motion for fresh evidence?” While Storheim was convicted of sexually assaulting one boy, he was acquitted on the same charge involving the victim’s brother, who also visited on a separate occasion.
31 October 2014
A lawyer for a former archbishop convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy in the 1980s said that he has fresh evidence that could have exonerated his client during his trial. Jeff Gindin, who represents Seraphim Storheim, filed a notice of motion asking that the new evidence be heard when the case appears before Manitoba’s Court of Appeal on Friday. In court documents, Gindin says that the evidence relates to the victim’s visit with Storheim and Storheim’s relationship with one of the defence witnesses, Connie Kucharczyk, who helped Storheim entertain the boy during his stay. Gindin wrote in a motion filed on 17 October, “The aforementioned evidence could reasonably, when taken with other evidence adduced at the trial, be expected to have affected the outcome of the trial. The evidence wasn’t available by all due diligence at the time of the trial”. Gindin declined to comment further about the new evidence. The Crown also declined an interview.
Earlier this year, Storheim was convicted of sexually assaulting a boy who’d come to visit him in Winnipeg in 1985. The man testified that during that visit Storheim would routinely walk around naked and would sometimes lie naked on the floor and touch himself. The man testified that another time Storheim touched him and inspected his groin as he sat naked on a bed. Storheim testified he talked to the boy about puberty and inspected his pyjama bottoms at the request of the boy, but denied anything inappropriate took place. The 68-year-old was sentenced to eight months in jail but has been free on bail pending his appeal hearing. Justice Christopher Mainella, who presided over Storheim’s trial, now sits on the Court of Appeal.
In his original appeal notice filed in July, Gindin said he was appealing on numerous grounds, writing the conviction “is contrary to law, evidence and the weight of the evidence”. Mainella should’ve given greater credibility to Storheim’s evidence and shouldn’t have dismissed Kucharczyk’s evidence “due to bias” that didn’t exist, the defence lawyer suggested. He also challenged the eight-month sentence handed to Storheim. Gindin had argued for no jail time, because Storheim’s reputation had been ruined and he didn’t have a criminal record. Gindin wrote, “The sentence imposed was harsh and excessive having regard to the age, background and circumstances of the offence”. Storheim was a priest in the Orthodox Church in America, but he later rose to archbishop… the church’s highest-ranking cleric in Canada. He was placed on leave when he was arrested in 2010 and retired following his conviction.
30 October 2014
The Canadian Press
If the truth is “exciting”… then, what does that tell us about those who bend and twist the truth? Now, that’s a meaty morsel, no? In any case, Our Lord Christ is the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life… He isn’t a pettifogging and slinking shyster!
Attend to the following:
21 October 2014
Archbishop Seraphim’s salary from the Archdiocese of Canada
Dear Metropolitan Tikhon,
We are members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
It recently came to our attention that the Archdiocese of Canada has continued to pay Archbishop Seraphim Storheim a salary, despite the fact that his retirement was announced by the synod of bishops on 3 April 2014.
The material linked above clearly indicates that the archbishop is no longer an employee of the archdiocese. It seems apparent to us that these monies are simply a clandestine way to use Church resources to help pay for Archbishop Seraphim’s attorneys.
However, officials made it clear shortly after the archbishop’s arrest that this was inappropriate.
Archbishop Seraphim is currently living in a monastery. He has no expenses for housing or for food. He has his pension from the Canadian government. In our opinion the archdiocese should not be slipping him money under the table. It is a slap in the face of those two brave men who testified about their abuse at the hands of the archbishop.
We implore you to bring this disturbing situation to the attention of the synod. This travesty needs to be rectified immediately.
St Louis MO
Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
San Francisco CA
SNAP Orthodox Director
Melanie Jula Sakoda
SNAP Orthodox Director
Archbishop Nathaniel Popp
Archbishop Nikon Liolin
Archbishop Benjamin Peterson
Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska
Bishop Mark Maymon
Bishop Irenee Rochon
Bishop Michael Dahulich
Bishop Alexander Golitzen
Bishop David Mahaffey
Igumen Paul Gassios
Mollard’s contact info:
Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard
PO Box 675
Syosset, NY 11791-0675
(516) 922 0954
Write Mollard… demand that the OCA stop paying a convicted perv. It’s bad enough that his mouthpiece slammed the victims… it’s worse that the believers’ money went to that shyster. Don’t subsidise a perv! Full stop! Mr Justice Mainella had Storheim’s number… we should heed him… NOT the First Family rats. ‘Nuff said…