2019-10-09 14:12:00

Daughter, son-in-law of Orenburg priest charged with child molestation left in custody

Orenburg, October 9, Interfax - The Orenburg Regional Court on Sunday upheld the decision made by a first-instance court to take into custody the daughter and son-in-law of Nikolay Stremsky, head of the Holy Trinity Church of Mercy, a regional court official told Interfax.

"The decision on the arrest of Yelena Stremskaya and Viktor Shcherbakov was upheld," the source said.

Stremsky is charged with rape, molestation, and failing to fulfill the duties of a legal guardian of an underage person. Orenburg's Leninsky District Court placed him under arrest until November 12. His daughter and son-in-law, who are charged with illegal deprivation of a person's freedom, were also arrested.

According to the investigators, Stremsky "repeatedly molested six underage foster and adopted children, and raped one of them" in the time period of January-August 2018.

According to their statement, investigators additionally established that the priest's adopted daughter Yelena Stremskaya and her husband Viktor Scherbakov "locked up three underage victims in a garage, where they held them for a long time," in August 2018.

Seven underage and small children, who were under Stremsky's foster care or have been adopted by him, are identified as aggrieved parties in this criminal case.

Stremsky has not admitted his guilt, saying that the children's testimony is false.

Metropolitan Veniamin of Orenburg and Saraktash issued a decree banning the priest from administering religious rites during the investigation.

In 2006, Stremsky, who is the head of the Russian family with the largest number of children, was presented with the Golden Heart international award, which was established by the Red Cross and the Russian government.

Nine years later, in 2015, he again gained press attention after he was detained for drunk driving and failing to obey lawful orders of the police.