Bishop Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes, is to be prosecuted for sexual offences against a young boy and a man.
Sussex Police was informed by the Crown Prosecution Service this afternoon (Thursday) that it has authorised the prosecution of Bishop Peter Ball, now aged 82, of Langport, Somerset, for three offences.
The charges allege misconduct in public office between October 1977 and December 1992 while a Bishop in the Church of England, by misusing his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification;
indecent assault on a boy aged between 12 and 13, in 1978 and indecent assault on a man aged 19 to 20 between 1980 and 1982.
The decisions by the CPS follow Operation Dunhill, an investigation by Sussex Police detectives into information received from the Church of England in May 2012.
The team, working with the full co-operation of the Church of England, investigated alleged sexual offences by Bishop Ball against 19 men and young boys, who were at time in their late teens or early twenties, 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 was arrested on 13 November 2012 but was released at his home that afternoon on medical advice, without being interviewed.
It was subsequently established, following medical advice, that he was not medically fit to be further arrested, or interviewed by police. However in March 2013 he was supplied by police with details in writing of the allegations against him, and supplied a written response.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said, “This response was submitted to the CPS in May 2013, along with all the other evidence obtained during the investigation. Since that date Sussex Police have continued to provide the CPS with all the further information they requested to assist in their decision making process.
“As soon as the CPS notified us of their decisions this afternoon we began to contact all the people concerned to advise them.
“The CPS is arranging the service of summons on Bishop Ball, for him to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on April 10.”