27/03/2014

Former Bishop To Be Prosecuted Over Alleged Sex Offences

A former bishop is to be prosecuted for alleged sex offences.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was in the public interest to prosecute Rt Reverend Peter Ball, a former bishop of Gloucester and former bishop of Lewes.

Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, said: "After a thorough and careful review, I have decided that Peter Ball should be prosecuted for misconduct in public office and two indecent assaults. It is alleged that he sexually abused a number of young males between 1977 and 1992. The misconduct alleged is that he misused his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification. During this time Mr Ball was serving as a Bishop in the Church of England.

"In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute. Criminal proceedings are now underway and the defendant has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

The charges are:

• Misconduct in public office between 1977 and 1992

• Indecent assault on a boy, aged 12 or 13, in 1978

• Indecent assault on a man, aged 19 or 20, between 1980 and 1982

Mr Ball will appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court on 10 April 2014.

(CVS/CD)

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