Former British bishop arrested over sex abuse claims
Bishop Peter Ball and Prince Charles in 1992 (from L)
Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:59AM GMT
A retired bishop has been arrested on suspicions that he sexually abused children in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the police investigating allegations of child abuse in the Church of England.
The Right Reverend Peter Ball, who served as the Bishop of Lewes and later Bishop of Gloucester, was detained on November 13 at his home near Langport, in Somerset county of England, on suspicion of sex offences against eight boys and young men.
The claims against the 80-year-old bishop relate to his time serving in the diocese of Chichester when the alleged victims were between 12 and their early 20s when the offences took place at properties in East Sussex and elsewhere.
The investigation into him began in spring this year by a team of Sussex police detectives following a review of his files by the Church.
Moreover, retired Church of England priest Vickery House was arrested over separate allegations that he abused two boys in East Sussex between 1981 and 1983.
The 67-year-old suspect was detained on Tuesday at his home near Haywards Heath, West Sussex, England.
“The Church of England, including the Diocese of Chichester, are co-operating fully with police,” said Detective Chief Inspector Carwyn Hughes of Sussex Police, who is leading the investigation.
“Allegations of historic offences are treated just as seriously as any more recent offences.”
The two are the latest public figures to be accused after weeks of child sex abuse claims that have engulfed Britain’s state-run BBC and celebrities.