Manitoba

Friend of priest speaks at sex assault trial

A close friend of an Orthodox archbishop accused of sexually assaulting two brothers says the alleged abuse couldn't possibly have happened.

Friend of Orthodox archbishop testifies at cleric's Winnipeg sex assault trial

Archbishop Kenneth (Seraphim) Storheim, left, and a supporter leave the Winnipeg courthouse in June. (Karen Pauls/CBC)

A close friend of an Orthodox archbishop accused of sexually assaulting two brothers says the alleged abuse couldn't possibly have happened.

Connie Kucharczyk told the Winnipeg trial of Seraphim Storheim that she was shocked when police called her in 2010 to discuss their investigation.

She says Storheim hugged "everyone he saw" but never crossed a line.

Storheim is accused of sexually assaulting the pre-teens when they lived with him in Winnipeg three decades ago.

The men have testified Storheim walked around naked and asked them to touch him sexually.

Storheim became the Orthodox Church of America's top cleric in Canada in 2007 and is currently on leave.