Two new counts of abuse laid against Bishop Ball by police

The former Bishop of Gloucester was summoned to the Brighton Magistrates Court last week to answer allegations that he had sexually assaulted a teenaged boy and a young man.

The former Bishop of Gloucester was summoned to the Brighton Magistrates Court last week to answer allegations that he had sexually assaulted a teenaged boy and a young man.

On 1 August 2014 the Rt. Rev. Peter Ball was arraigned via videolink from the Brighton Court before the Lewes Crown Court to respond to charges that he had sexually assaulted a boy under the age of 16 between 1984 and 1985 and a young man over 16 between 1990 and 1991.

In 2012 a Sussex Police spokesman it had “received from Lambeth Palace two reports from a Church safeguarding consultant, which contain reviews of Church safeguarding files relating to historic issues in the Chichester Diocese. We have also received the files themselves.”

“The reports and files relate to matters more than 20 years ago and we will review the contents in order to establish whether any police investigation of possible criminal offences would be merited.”

On 13 November 2012 Bishop Ball was for crimes “allegedly committed against eight boys and young men, all of whom were at the time in their late teens or early twenties, except one who was 12.” The now 82 year old bishop was granted bail on medical grounds

Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service South East, announced on 27 March 2014 the bishop would face three counts at trial: Misconduct in public office between 1977 and 1992; Indecent assault on a boy aged 12/13 in 1978; and Indecent assault on a man aged 19/20 between 1980 and 1982.

A police statement released last week said: “The new summons, applications for which were authorised, as with the previous summonses, by the Crown Prosecution Service, are returnable at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 17 July.”

Appointed suffragan Bishop of Lewes in 1997 and translated to Gloucester in 1992, Bishop Ball resigned in 1993 after admitting having received a police caution for having committed an act of gross indecency with a 19 year old man.

However the late Bishop of Chichester, the Rt. Rev. Eric Kemp, was skeptical of the veracity of the 1993 charges brought against Bishop Ball. In his 2006 memoirs, Shy But Not Retiring, Bishop Kemp stated: “Although it was not realized at the time, the circumstances which led to his early resignation were the work of mischief makers.”

The 1 August hearing has been adjourned until 12 September 2014.

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