Former Eastbourne priest found guilty of sex abuse

A former priest was today found guilty of 12 counts of historic sex abuse.

Jonathan Graves, a former clergyman at St Luke’s Church, Stone Cross, stood trial at Hove Crown Court after he was charged with 17 counts of abuse dating back to the 1980s.

The Diocese of Chichester said: “This has been a long and complex investigation. We wish to express our profound sorrow to the victims, who have shown great courage in coming forward and giving evidence to the police. As today’s verdict shows, Jonathan Graves grossly betrayed the trust of those to whom he ministered.

“Much of the evidence put forward is deeply shocking indeed.

“The abuse of others can never be tolerated and we will always encourage anyone with concerns about abuse to contact the police.

“We have been working closely with Sussex Police on this case since 2011, and wish to express our gratitude to them for their commitment to achieving justice for the victims. We will continue to do all we can to bring abuse to light, to support those who have been abused, and ensure our churches are safe.”

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