The leader of a Scarborough Romanian Orthodox congregation says he’s innocent of the sexual assault charges he faces.
Father Iaon Pop, 54, pastor of the All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church at 545 Danforth Rd. was charged by police on Sept. 11.
“The allegations are absolutely false and not true,” said Pop, who declined to make any further comment.
The charges have shocked the congregation, said Magda Popescu, the president of the Ladies Committee at the church.
“It’s affecting us as a community and me personally because we chose him as our priest,” she said.
Police say the Scarborough priest allegedly assaulted a woman on Sept. 3 and was interrupted when a couple walked into the church.
“There is no further information,” said Const. Hilary Hawkins of 41 Division. “We are continuing with the investigation.”
The Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas, to which the church belongs, was contacted but did not provide a comment before the publication deadline.
According to Popescu, who has known Pop for 12 years, the pastor and his family are coping with the situation as well as they can.
“We talk to him and to his family,” Popescu said. “They are all the same as before and trying to deal with the situation, and hoping for the best.”
Pop is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 15.