ME--Orthodox priest is sentenced
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), SNAP Orthodox Director (925-708-6175, firstname.lastname@example.org)
An Orthodox priest from Maine, who was found guilty of child sexual abuse for the second time in March, was sentenced today to six and a half years in prison and 3 years probation. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.
We are glad that Father Adam Metropoulos will spend time behind bars, although we are disappointed that it is not for a longer period of time. While incarcerated, he will be unable to hurt any more kids.
Now that the criminal process is complete, we urge the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) to explain to the Faithful how a man previously convicted of child sexual abuse in Michigan was admitted to their seminary in Massachusetts and then ordained a priest. If not for this appalling lack of oversight, Metropoulos’ young victim would not have been hurt.
In addition, the Church should explain to their membership what procedures have been put in place to insure that this disgraceful situation never occurs again.
Finally, the GOA should use all of their resources to reach out to each and every parish and group where Metropoulos worked, begging anyone who experienced, witnessed or suspected the priest of child sexual abuse to contact the police.
We are in awe of the courage of the young man who testified against Metropoulos. We hope that now that he has found his voice and told his truth he can begin healing. We also hope that his bravery will encourage other Orthodox victims to speak up and report to law enforcement.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, as well as those abused in other settings, such as the Boy Scouts and the military. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.