Guilty plea from Reading vicar on child sex charge

A Diocese of Oxford vicar has pled guilty to having caused or incited sexual activity with a girl age 13 to 17.

A Diocese of Oxford vicar has pled guilty to having caused or incited sexual activity with a girl age 13 to 17. Last week the Rev. Peter Jarvis (51) vicar of St Michael’s Church in Spencers Wood entered a guilty plea before the Winchester Crown Court. In December 2014 he was acquitted by the Reading Crown Court on seven counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, three count of sexual activity with a child and one of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity with four different girls from Newbury and Thatcham between 2008 and 2011. However, the jury could not agree on the 12th count of inciting sexual activity and the jury was discharged. The Crown Prosecution Service refiled the 12th count, leading to last week’s guilty plea. The Bishop of Reading, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Proud said: “I have just heard the news that the Rev Peter Jarvis has pleaded guilty to the case against him. These are serious sexual offences and we are profoundly shocked and saddened. The Diocese of Oxford takes safeguarding, especially of children, young people, and vulnerable adults very seriously. We expect the highest standards of conduct from all of our clergy. When this case came to light we immediately contacted the statutory authorities. Since then we have worked closely with the police and local authority colleagues and will continue to do so until Mr Jarvis’s sentencing next month. As soon as the allegations were made, Mr Jarvis stood down from his duties, as is our policy. Clearly in light of the guilty plea we will now be initiating the Church of England’s disciplinary process. This case has been protracted and distressing for everyone affected. All those involved are in my thoughts and prayers.” Jarvis will come before the court on 1 April 2016 for sentencing.

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