Former CT State Representative John Metsopoulos reports sexual harassment and psychological abuse by Greek Orthodox Archbishop George Aneste

December 19, 2022


Former CT State Representative John Metsopoulos reports sexual harassment and psychological abuse by Greek Orthodox Archbishop George Aneste

John Metsopoulos, former Connecticut state representative for the 132nd district (1984-94) and former first selectman (mayor) of Fairfield, CT (1999-2003), has come forward to report sexual harassment in 2019 in Mexico City by George Aneste, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Mexico and Central America. Aneste is also referred to as Athenagoras of Mexico. Metsopoulos also reports ongoing physical and psychological abuse by Aneste in Mexico from 2017 to 2019. In addition to the harm Metsopoulos suffered personally, he is reporting direct knowledge of Aneste’s fraud, and he can report numerous incidents of fraud occurring in both Mexico and in the United States.

Metsopoulos comes from a devout family long involved with the Greek Orthodox Church in Fairfield County, CT. He met Aneste in the United States as a 15-year-old. When Aneste contacted him in 2017 with an urgent plea for him to come to Mexico to help run his charities, Metsopoulos quickly sold his business and moved to Mexico City to assist him.

When Metsopoulos arrived, Aneste reported that his charitable causes were in dire need of money. Metsopolous reports that he lent him a total of $10,000 over a period of months, none of which was paid back. Aneste also owes him $15,000 in unpaid wages.

Within a few months after Metsopoulos’ arrival in Mexico, Aneste appointed him as executive director of One World One Community, Aneste’s California-based charity, and treasurer of the Chicago-based Orthodox Church Mission. Both charities were known to the Archbishop of America Elpidiphore and appeared to be legitimate. However, Metsopoulos soon discovered that the church that Aneste claimed he had funded in Haiti had received no funding from either charity. Furthermore, the school in Haiti that Aneste claimed to have funded did not exist. Metsopoulos also reports that Aneste took $100,000 from the Greek Orthodox Mission of the Virgin in Danbury, CT, whose pastor at the time was Father Peter Karlout. Aneste claimed the funds would be used to establish a candle-making business to employ Mexican workers. However, the funds were purportedly used instead to renovate Aneste’s private residence in Mexico City. Metsopoulos claims these are a few examples among many.

Metropoulos further reports that before he recognized Aneste’s duplicity and corruption, he asked fundraiser Heidi Hartt to volunteer her time, but she declined upon learning that One World One Community’s funds may not have gone to charitable causes. In like fashion, Barbara Segal, a grant writer, refused Metsopoulos’request that she write grants for the charity, saying that no grants would be awarded when only two people served on the charity’s board. Both individuals are willing to corroborate Metsopoulos’ claims.

As Metsopoulos, while still trusting Aneste, attempted to alert him to his charities’ legal problems, Aneste became increasingly hostile. When Metsopoulos attempted to discuss the lack of a functioning board for One World One Community, the Bishop swore at Metsopoulus and, on one occasion, hit him with his mitre, which is the staff that bishops carry.  On another occasion, in 2018, Aneste loudly berated Metsopoulos in front of a roomful of forty people because the rice he had prepared was sticky.

In the summer of 2019, as their working relationship reached a new low point, Aneste invited Metropoulos into his office. Metropolous claims that the Bishop asked him to sit across from him on a low chair, then spread his legs so that Metsopoulos could not avoid seeing that Aneste had an erection.

“He was sitting with his legs open,” said Metropoulos, “I thought to myself that there must be a reason for this. I’d known him since I was 15. He had told me I had the faith and innocence of a child.”

He hesitated a few seconds, horrified, trying to understand what was going on.  Then he quickly left the room, utterly confused and deeply shaken. To this day, he remembers exactly what Aneste was wearing: a gray cardigan, white shirt, black slacks and black loafers.

A few days later, at about 9:30 a.m., Aneste called Metsopoulos on the phone.  He remembers being in his plaid pajama bottoms and red tee shirt.

“He asked me to come over for coffee in my underwear,” says Metsopoulos.

Metsopoulos refused.

“My life has been decimated. My faith has been destroyed,” he continued.

Soon thereafter, Aneste stopped paying Metsopoulos. Traumatized, isolated and now without income, Metsopoulos saw no path forward other than to continue focusing on legitimate charitable works of the Church while sidestepping Aneste’s efforts to get him to participate in fraud. But after four months, Aneste fired him and threw him out of his living quarters. He has never been paid for the final months of his work.

Metsopoulos has attempted to alert the Greek Orthodox hierarchy to Aneste’s crimes, but they claim Aneste is out of their reach because he is in Mexico. He has also tried to alert Greek American organizations to Aneste’s corruption. In response, Aneste has threatened to sue for defamation.

John Metsopoulos now lives in Nicaragua and can be reached through email at [email protected]. He is available to meet on ZOOM. Gail Howard, a Leader of SNAP CT (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, CT Chapter) can be reached at 203-644-0387.



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  • Michael McDonnell
    published this page in Blog 2022-12-20 14:26:18 -0600

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