Sussex sex abuse bishop to be sentenced today

An ex-Bishop of Lewes who abused 18 young men and aspiring priests over 30 years will be sentenced by an Old Bailey judge today (Wednesday).

Peter Ball, 83, used religion as a “cloak” to manipulate his victims, many of whom were in their teens, after they came to his home to explore their spirituality.

The former Bishop of Lewes and Bishop of Gloucester admitted sex offences against teenage boys and young men who had gone to his former home in Litlington.

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Weeks before his trial was due to start at the Old Bailey, Ball, who has suffered ill health but was deemed fit to stand trial, pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office.

Ex Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball SUS-150809-121026001

The charge stated that between 1977 and 1992 he misused his position in authority “to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification” in relation to 16 young men.

He also admitted two counts of indecent assault on two separate young men in their late teens at his East Sussex home between 1980 and 1983 and between 1990 and 1991.

Two other counts of indecent assault on a boy of 12 or 13 and a 15-year-old youth were denied and will lie on file.

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