Canadian archbishop charged with sex assault

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Archbishop Seraphim Storheim is seen in this undated photo.
Archbishop Seraphim Storheim is seen in this undated photo.

Archbishop Seraphim Storheim is seen in this undated photo. News Staff

Date: Thursday Nov. 25, 2010 1:46 PM ET

A high-ranking Canadian Orthodox archbishop has been arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault, Winnipeg police announced Thursday.

Archbishop Kenneth William Storheim, also known as Seraphim Storheim, turned himself in on Wednesday morning, police said, after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police say Storheim flew from Edmonton to Winnipeg to turn himself in.

Storheim, 64, has been released on recognizance with a $500 deposit until trial.

In October, Storheim stepped down as head of the Canadian diocese of the Orthodox Church in America amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving young boys when he was a priest in Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg police service said in a news release that it launched the investigation into the allegations in July.

The archbishop was a rector at the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Trinity Sobor in Winnipeg from December 1984 to June 1987.

In a statement released on the OCA website in October, church officials said Storheim had asked for and been granted a three-month leave.

The archbishop had also posted a letter on the archdiocese’s website suggesting health issues motivated his reason to step down.

“Having also seen my physician, I was informed that this leave is rather overdue,” he wrote. “It is my intention and hope to maintain as much solitude and silence as possible.”

Recent reports suggest the Orthodox Church in America has launched an internal investigation into the allegations against the archbishop.

According to a biography of Storheim on the church’s website, he was born in Edmonton.

He served as a priest in Alberta, North Carolina and London, Ont., between 1981 and 1984, when he became rector of Holy Trinity Sobor in Winnipeg, where he served until 1987.

He became an auxiliary bishop of Edmonton in 1987, and became ruling bishop of the archdiocese in 1990. He was elevated to the rank of archbishop of Ottawa and Canada in 2007.

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