NZ priest jailed for assault

 

NZ priest jailed for assault

Author: 

George Conger

The Bishop of Waiapu in the Anglican Church of New Zealand has defrocked a priest for sexually assaulting a young woman. On 17 Sept 2014 the Rt. Rev. Andrew Hedge (pictured) announced he had issued a sentence of “deprivation” against John Hamilton Tovey (64), who would "no longer hold the office, or perform any function of a priest in the Anglican Church in New Zealand and the worldwide communion". Last week Tovey was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment on two counts of indecent assault committed between April 2014 and Jan 2015. In 2011 Tovey stepped down as assistant priest at All Saints parish in Taradale, having previously served in the Diocese of Wellington, and his licence to officiate was suspended earlier this year when a criminal complaint was filed. Bishop Hedge noted the crimes had been committed "separate to the church" but "I am appalled and disheartened that a priest, upon whom there are clear expectations from the church and the wider community, has caused so much hurt and abused a position of trust as a provider of care and as a priest.” Tovey had pled guilty to the charge and told the court: "I am deeply regretful for the hurt I have caused her emotionally and psychologically.

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