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Men Of The Cloth And Historical Sex Crimes

Sex Abuse

There is a widely held belief that the sexual abuse of children has been endemic within the Catholic Church, indeed the Church has itself acknowledged this, and there have been some incredible scandals, including that of the Magdalene laundries in Ireland, although even that has been mythologised. These were certainly austere institutions, but claims of sexual abuse do not wash. Having said that, how credible are some of these allegations made against specifically men of the cloth?

According to the British police, they are not only substantially true but under-reported. Recently, a former South London vicar was gaoled for historical sex crimes said to have been committed forty years ago. Graham Gregory, who is now 79 years old., was convicted of indecently assaulting a young girl, who is now of course a middle aged woman. He was given a three year sentence. According to one report, his victim remained silent until 2012, when she contacted police to tell them Gregory had kissed and assaulted her several times in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He stood trial on five counts of the indecent assault of a girl under 13 years of age, and was found guilty of two of them. Those au fait with the Savile scandal (so-called) will recognise the significant of the above date, and those au fait with these kinds of trials will recognise the spiel given by Detective Constable Aaron Vardy of the Metropolitan Police.

The woman who accused Gregory was said to have exhibited bravery in finally coming forward, adding “It takes a lot of courage to report this type of crime and in some cases victims feel they are only able to come forward years after the offence.”

Exactly how much courage does it take to accuse a man in his seventies of a sexual assault committed four decades earlier? How much courage does it take to testify anonymously, perhaps from behind a screen, sobbing into a handkerchief, blaming him for all your personal failings in your adult life, and to do this with no adverse consequences for whatever lies you may tell, while looking forward to criminal injuries compensation and perhaps a civil law suit brought against the Church on a no-win, no-fee basis by a firm of legal charlatans?

The police released a statement in which they said another woman (a girl at the time) had made similar allegations against Gregory. They went on to appeal for other victims to come forward, victims like this delusional female, perhaps?

Men of the cloth are not usually accused of sexual offences against girls, but the claims made about the Reverend Terence King were nothing if not eclectic. He was the vicar of a Leeds church for 22 years; he retired in 1999, but three years later he was accused of historical sex offences dating to the 1980s. He was arrested and bailed pending further inquiries. In October 2002, he committed suicide, and it was revealed that in the 1980s he had been investigated for an alleged offence against a young girl.

Although this poor man has been dead for well over a decade, his alleged victim – the male one – has now been awarded a six figure payout. Like women who make allegations of this nature, this victim has been granted lifelong anonymity. He claims to have been abused by the Reverend King over a period of eight years.

Recently too, a 76 year old former church lay worker in the Irish Republic was charged with 75 counts of indecently assaulting ten boys between 1977 and 1990; the next hearing in this case will be July.

Granted, some allowance should be made when alleged victims are under the age of consent, but does no one in authority see what is going on here? Rape is a crime that leaves physical evidence, for the most part, indecent assault does not, very often we are in a she said/he said or here he said/he said situation, but alleged sex crimes reported a decade later have no real credibility unless there is some form of either physical evidence or proper corroboration. In the recent Ray Teret case, both these existed, and the police were very careful not to allow even the possibility of alleged victims conferring or having their memories contaminated, something that is extremely easy to happen, as anyone who has seen the short video about the bunny effect (discussed here) will realise.

In the case of the alleged male victim of the Reverend King, hasn’t anyone asked the relevant questions like how he met this man – then a boy – over a period of eight years in private so many times without someone growing suspicious? Wouldn’t the victim have told someone about such abuse, wouldn’t there have been some sort of sign for his parents to pick up on? Wasn’t he ever asked why he was going to the vicarage yet again?

Unless and until a statute of limitations is effected in the UK and elsewhere, we will continue to see cases of this nature paraded to the media, and the inevitable miscarriages of justice that follow.

This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of TheLatestNews.com

About the author

Alexander Baron