Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Priest Who Adopted 70 Children Charged With Pedophilia

Father Nikolai meets President Vladimir Putin the 2012 opening of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Bethlehem, Palestine.

A celebrated Russian priest who adopted 70 children has been arrested on suspicion of pedophilia.

Father Nikolai Stremsky, said to be the patriarch of Russia’s largest family and a recipient of a prize established by the Red Cross and Russian government, was reportedly detained Tuesday. Local media reported that authorities first opened a criminal investigation into unlawful restraint against Stremsky on Sept. 12. 

An Orenburg court placed Father Nikolai Stremsky in pre-trial detention until Nov. 12. Stremsky faces charges of statutory rape, indecent assault and failure to perform parental duties, which carry prison sentences of up to 20 years, 12 years and three years respectively.

The court also placed Stremsky’s unnamed adopted daughter and her husband in pre-trial detention until Nov. 12 on charges of unlawful restraint, which carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

Seven minors who were said to be under Stremsky's guardianship are the victims in the case, Interfax reported.

The Orenburg parish has temporarily excommunicated Father Nikolai for the duration of the investigation. Stremsky has denied his guilt.

He had previously been suspended for several months in 2015 after he was caught drunk driving.

Several of Father Nikolai’s adopted children plan to demonstrate in his support, telling Russian media that they don’t believe the charges.

… 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.


Read more