A FORMER Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Peter Ball, will be
prosecuted for indecent assaults on young men, the Crown
Prosecution Service (CPS) announced on Thursday of last week.
Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, said:
"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 on others for
his own sexual gratification. During this time Mr Ball was serving
as a Bishop in the Church of England."
Bishop Ball, who is 82 years old, and lives in Langport,
Somerset, is charged with misconduct in public office between 1977
and 1992, indecent assault on a boy, aged 12 or 13, in 1978, and
indecent assault on a man, aged 19 or 20, between 1980 and 1982
Between 1977 and 1992, Bishop Ball was Bishop of Lewes. He
became Bishop of Gloucester in 1992, but resigned in 1993, after
being formally cautioned by Gloucester Police for "one offence of
gross indecency, contrary to the Sexual Offences Act of 1956"
(News, 12 March 1993). The offence involved a 17-year-old novice
from what was described as "an embryo order". No charges were
brought, but a formal caution implies an admission of guilt.
He was arrested on 13 November 2012 "on suspicion of eight
sexual offences in East Sussex and in one case elsewhere, during
the late 1980s and early 1990s", but was released at his home that
afternoon on medical advice, without being interviewed (News, 16
Last week, a statement from Sussex Police said that, "with the
full co-operation of the Church of England", the force had been
investigating "alleged sexual offences by Bishop Ball against 19
men and young boys, who were at time in their late teens or early
20s, at addresses in East Sussex and elsewhere between the 1970s
and the early 1980s, except for two who were 12 and 13 when the
alleged offending occurred in the late 1970s".
Bishop Ball will appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court on 10