Bishop arrested for alleged sex offenses

Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:57 PM
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LANDPORT, England, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Retired English bishop the Rev. Peter Ball was arrested on suspicion of eight sexual offenses against boys and men, detectives said.

Ball, 80, former bishop of Lewes and later bishop of Gloucester, was arrested at his home in Landport Tuesday and is believed to be the most senior Church of England official to be arrested in connection with a sex abuse investigation, the British newspaper The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Officers from the Sussex Police serious crime directorate completed a six-month investigation, including a review of internal church files and a "comprehensive and painstaking" analysis of two reports "which contain reviews of church files relating to certain child safeguarding issues from the Chichester diocese from between 20 and 25 years ago," they said.

The Chichester diocese includes the bishopric of Lewes.

The alleged victims ranged in age from 12 to 20, the newspaper said.

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