NEW YORK (NY)
January 17, 2018
By Cristina Maza
An Orthodox priest in Russia was sentenced to 14 years in a high-security penal colony for “especially cynical” violent sexual acts with minors.
The abuse took place at Orthodox youth camps in Russia and Greece between 2009 and 2013, according to local reports on Wednesday.
The priest, Gleb Grozovsky, fled to Israel after police opened a criminal investigation into the abuse in 2013, but he was extradited to Russia in 2016 to stand trial. The trial was held behind closed doors and lasted for seven months.
Grozovsky continues to maintain his innocence and says he will appeal the ruling. Defense lawyers say Grozovsky is a victim of religious and political persecution. A website in English, Russian, Arabic and Hebrew that claims to belong to Grozovsky’s sister says that the court limited the priest’s ability to know what he was charged with, but the website has not been updated since last year.
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