New Britain - Armenian priest Krikoris Keshishian, 54, made an appearance in court Tuesday morning in his continuing battle against charges that he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl last year.
Judge Patrick J. Clifford said the case will be continued "for further pretrial."
Keshishian, of 21 Garry Drive, was first arrested on May 9 on charges of fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to, or impairing the morals of, a minor. Police reported that Keshishian had inappropriately touched a 12-year-old parishioner of St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church in May 2005.
In his defense, Keshishian claimed that the alleged touching happened by accident while he was attempting to catch the girl as she was falling off a table. However, once the arrest warrant was unsealed, a number of new accusations were brought to light, some including the friend of the 12-year-old girl.
The warrant stated that Keshishian fondled the friend of the victim, and had once asked her what color underwear she was wearing. He had also repeatedly invited the two girls to visit Paris with him and gave gifts to the victim on several occasions for no apparent reason, the warrant stated.
When questioned by police, the victim claimed that Keshishian's story of catching her while she was falling off a table was untrue. She also claimed that on May 22, 2005, Keshishian touched her buttocks while he was hugging her.
The friend of the victim accused the priest of touching her leg while kissing her on the cheek, the warrant stated.
Keshishian's next court date will be Sept. 20.