Archbishop found guilty of sexually assaulting one of two boys in Winnipeg
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 24, 2014 1:10PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 24, 2014 1:21PM EST
WINNIPEG -- An Orthodox archbishop has been found guilty of sexually assaulting one of two brothers in Winnipeg almost 30 years ago.
The judge said in his ruling that Seraphim Kenneth Storheim was evasive and untrustworthy in his denials on the witness stand.
The Court of Queen's Bench justice also said one brother was clear in his testimony, while the other had memory and mental illness problems.
The brothers, who are now in their 30s, testified they lived with Storheim briefly, on separate occasions, when they worked as altar boys in 1985.
They said Storheim walked around naked and touched them sexually -- accusations Storheim denied.
Storheim's lawyer had suggested in closing arguments last fall that the evidence against his client was unreliable. Jeff Gindin told Justice Christopher Mainella that the brothers' testimony just wasn't enough to convict Storheim beyond a reasonable doubt.
One of the brothers admitted he had large gaps in his memory and couldn't provide many specifics. He told court he is on several medications and has spent time in a psychiatric hospital.
But Crown attorney Breta Passler told the court Storheim's version of events didn't make sense. She argued that the brothers' testimony, in contract, was genuine and honest as they tried to recall difficult events which occurred several decades ago.
Storheim testified he met the boys in the early 1980s when he was posted in London, Ont. When he moved to Winnipeg, Storheim said, he agreed to have the boys stay with him separately during the summer of 1985 to further their Christian education.