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RU 2021.12.24 Priest Nikolai Stremsky was sentenced to 21 years in a maximum security penal colony accused of child abuse.

The Saraktash District Court sentenced Fr. Nikolai Stremsky,
accused of child abuse

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A Russian court has jailed for 21 years a former Orthodox priest, for a string of child abuse offences.

The Saraktashsky District Court (Orenburg Region) announced on December 24 the verdict of Archpriest Nikolai Stremsky, a cleric of the Orenburg diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, accused of crimes against children, Interfax reports (interfax.ru) with reference to the court’s press service. “Appointed 21 years in a maximum-security penal colony with restriction of freedom for two years,” – said the agency’s interlocutor. He noted that the announcement of the verdict took more than an hour.

Earlier, with reference to the website of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, it was reported that the head of the Holy Trinity Monastery of Mercy of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was charged under Articles 131, 132, 133, 135, 117, 156, 151 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Stremsky was arrested in the fall of 2019.

According to the investigation, from 1999 to 2019, the accused “committed crimes against sexual inviolability against 11 minors.” He is also suspected of involving children in the systematic use of alcoholic beverages. By decree of the Metropolitan of Orenburg and Saraktash ROC MP Benjamin, Fr. Nikolai Stremsky was banned from the priesthood for the duration of the investigation.

In 2006, Father Nikolai, the head of the largest Russian family, was awarded the international prize “Golden Heart”, among the founders of which were the “Red Cross” and the government of the Russian Federation. Nine years later, in 2015, the name of the abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery in the village of Saraktash made headlines after he was detained for drunk driving and disobedience to police officers.

Published: 24.12.2021 в 12:30


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BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59779376

Reviewed Oct. 2023