Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Priest Sentenced to 17 Years Over Sexual Abuse of Children


An Orthodox priest in Far East Russia has reportedly been sentenced to 17 years in maximum-security prison for sexual violence against children.

Hieromonk Meletyi, whose secular name is Andrei Tkachenko, was detained in the republic of Sakha in June 2017 on suspicion of committing acts of sexual violence against two minors. Later news reports cited investigators alleging the defrocked priest had abused 87 children under the age of 14.

A district court convicted Tkachenko on Wednesday and sentenced him to 17 years in maximum-security prison, Interfax reported Thursday, citing an unnamed source.

The court also reportedly awarded the victims compensation for moral damage and ordered the priest to seek psychiatric treatment.

It was not immediately clear from the reports if Tkachenko was found guilty of all 87 counts of abuse or the initial two.

The regional Orthodox Church diocese, the Sakha Eparchy, announced plans “to raise the issue of ousting the cleric after the decisions over appeals was made in higher courts.” Tkachenko had been suspended from the church after his detention.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more