Menu

Religion

Canadian Orthodox bishop faces sex assault charges

The archbishop of an orthodox church in Canada was charged with two counts of sexual assault after turning himself in, police in Winnipeg, Manitoba said Thursday.

Const. Natalie Aitken said Kenneth William Storheim, who heads the Canadian archdiocese of the Orthodox Church in America, has been accused of assaulting two people.

Storheim, known as Archbishop Seraphim in his role as head of the church's Canadian branch, flew to Manitoba from Edmonton, Alberta and turned himself in at police headquarters, said Aitken, who would not provide further details on the charges.

Storheim, 64, had earlier served as a parish priest in Alberta, North Carolina, Ontario and other areas, according to a biography on the church's website. He became an auxiliary bishop in Edmonton in 1987 and was elevated to archbishop 20 years later.

Winnipeg police said they are not aware of any more complainants.

Storheim posted a letter on the archdiocese's website in October saying he was taking a leave of absence for health reasons. One week later, church officials issued a statement that said Storheim was on leave because of a police investigation.

Police began their investigation in June and issued an arrest warrant last week.

The Orthodox Church in America counts some 700 parishes, monasteries, missions and other institutions across Canada, the United States and Mexico. It is separate from other Orthodox churches such as the Greek Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Storheim has been released from custody pending his next court appearance.