BANGOR, Maine — A district court judge set bail Wednesday at $100,000 cash or surety for the suspended Greek Orthodox priest arrested earlier this week on charges that he allegedly possessed child pornography and surreptitiously photographed a woman taking a shower in his bathroom.
Bail for Adam Metropoulos, 52, of Bangor originally was set at $10,000 cash. Since his arrest Monday, he has been held at the Penobscot County Jail unable to post bail. He remained at the jail Wednesday evening.
Judge John Lucy set the bail recommended by Michael P. Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, and Metropoulos’ attorney, Marvin Glazier. Lucy said the bail could be reviewed at a later date.
Conditions include no unauthorized contact with minors, not being in places where children congregate, such as parks and schools, no Internet access and not possessing a device that can take photographs.
Metropoulos is next due in court on Nov. 5.
Roberts said outside the courthouse after Metropoulos’ first court appearance that the high bail was warranted given the suspended priest’s 1983 conviction on a sex charge in Michigan and his admission to police that a few years ago, he “touched two 15-year-old boys inappropriately.”
“We thought it best to act aggressively to ensure the safety of the children in the community,” Roberts said.
The prosecutor also said that, so far, no sexually explicit photos or videos of local children had been found on Metropoulos’ computer.
Lee Speronis, president of the St. George Parish Council, declined to comment Wednesday afternoon on the high bail or on Metropoulos’ alleged admissions to law enforcement.
No members of the congregation or Metropoulos’ family attended Wednesday’s hearing.
Efforts to reach defense attorney Glazier were unsuccessful late Wednesday afternoon.
The priest was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with one count each of possession of sexually explicit material, a Class C crime, and violation of privacy, a Class D crime, according to Bangor police.
Lucy did not ask Metropoulos to enter pleas to those charges because he has not yet been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury. Roberts said that the earliest he would present the case to the grand jury was October because the forensic examination of Metropoulos’ computer has not been completed.
Roberts said that he did not expect Metropoulos would be able to post such a high bail. The house he lives in on 14th Street in Bangor belongs to the church. Metropoulos also owns a house in Millinocket, Roberts said, but he did not believe it was valued at $100,000.
The bishop of the Greek Orthodox diocese that includes Maine suspended the priest of St. George Church on Tuesday.
Metropoulos was convicted in Michigan in 1983 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 13, according to Saginaw court records. Because computerized court records there only go back to 1984, information about the crime and the sentence imposed was not immediately available.
Roberts said Monday that he had no new information about that conviction and did not know if it was a misdemeanor or felony.
If convicted today of the crime, which is a felony in Michigan, Metropoulos would face up to 15 years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender, according to Aaron Boira, a criminal defense attorney in Detroit, Michigan. The crime, as defined today, includes any sexual contact with a child under the age of 13.
Metropolitan Methodios, head of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, announced in an email on Tuesday that Metropoulos “has been suspended from all priestly duties” until the criminal case has been resolved.
“The Metropolis takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and will cooperate fully with all applicable civil authorities,” according to the email. “The Metropolis was not aware of any previous arrests.”
The parish council will decide if Metropoulos will be suspended with or without pay and how long he will be able to remain in the 14th Street house where the camera used to allegedly record the woman was reportedly located, the Metropolitan said.
The Greek Orthodox Church’s structure is similar to that of the Roman Catholic Church in that priests are appointed by a bishop to serve parishes rather than hired by congregations.
The investigation that led to charges being filed against Metropoulos began Saturday when a woman reportedly complained to police that she believed she had been photographed or video recorded without her permission or knowledge.
She told police that she was taking a shower at the priest’s Bangor home on Saturday while visiting, Sgt. Tim Cotton, spokesman for the Bangor police, said Tuesday. She noticed a camera in a basket in the bathroom. When she examined it, the woman saw that it was turned on, and she took the digital storage card from it, he said.
The woman confronted Metropoulos, Cotton said. She then went to the police station with the data card to lodge her complaint.
As part of the investigation, police examined Metropoulos’ computer and allegedly found images of child pornography, the sergeant said. Forensic computer examiners are continuing their investigation into Metropoulos’ alleged possession of child pornography.
Metropoulos has been the priest at St. George, the only Eastern Orthodox congregation north of Lewiston, since September 2001. A former high school chemistry teacher in Millinocket, he attended the Bangor church, dedicated on Sept. 7, 1930, before he entered seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1997. Before being ordained, Metropoulos often assisted his predecessors at services.
If convicted, Metropoulos faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 on the possession of child pornography charge and up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 on the violation of privacy charge.