WINNIPEG - A former Orthodox priest convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy is free on bail while his appeal is heard.

Seraphim Storheim was sentenced last week to eight months in jail for an assault dating back almost 30 years.

Jeff Gindin, his lawyer, immediately appealed the conviction and the sentence.

Gindin argued that if Storheim had not been granted bail, it's possible he would have served the bulk of his sentence before his appeal was heard.

Judge Diana Cameron, of Manitoba's Court of Appeal, agreed saying it was conceivable even if the appeal moves quickly, Storheim would have served at least half his sentence before a decision.

Storheim had been free on bail while the case made its way through the courts, but has been in custody since his sentencing.