Dillingham parish priest charged with attempted sexual assault

Bristol Bay Times

July 29th Dave Bendinger, KDLG

A Russian Orthodox priest has been suspended from his duties after allegations of domestic violence and attempted sexual assault.

Dillingham Police have charged Michael Nicolai with attempted sexual assault.

Nicolai is the priest at Saint Seraphim of Sarov, Dillingham’s Russian Orthodox church. He has been suspended from his duties.

Police responded to the parish home behind the church early on July 16 after a woman reported that she had been assaulted, said Dillingham Police chief Dan Pasquariello. He was taken to jail that day, and released on bail on July 18.

“The officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance,” he said. “They went there, they interviewed all parties involved, they made an arrest. The information they gathered, after conferring with the district attorney, led them to charge Father Nicholai with attempted sexual assault and a physical assault.”

The investigation revealed that Father Michael had been drinking that night, and the victim said he had been viewing pornography, which led to arguments and eventually an assault. Officers found ripped clothing and undergarments which corroborated the victim’s initial description of the nature of the assault.

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