Powerful old-boys network sheltered Anglican Bishop accused of abuse

An independent inquiry into child sexual abuse has revealed that a powerful old-boys' network, that included Prince Charles, sheltered an old friend who was accused of sexual misconduct within the church.

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
Powerful old-boys network sheltered Anglican Bishop accused of abuse - NewsMavens
Peter Ball, YouTube

Why this story matters:

In 2015, Ball plead guilty to the abuse of 16 boys and men. Mr Ball first came to the attention of authorities when he was accused of sexual misconduct in 1969. He continued to climb the ranks within the church in the following decades. He did not face police action until 1993 when he admitted to an act of gross indecency with a 19-year-old that resulted in a legal caution and to his forced resignation as Bishop.

Mr Ball is known to have forced his victims, many of whom were teenagers, to take showers in front of him, pleasure him, be beaten by him or sleep naked beside him. Members of the church have since said that these actions were played down by those who knew they were occurring as the did not involve penetrative sex.

In the 1990’s, after he has asked to step down from his position of Bishop, Mr Ball is known to have lived in a property owned by the Prince of Wales. The report also suggested that Prince Charles campaigned for his return to the ministry.

According to the report, “the actions of the Prince of Wales were misguided” and that “it is likely they genuinely believed in Peter Ball’s innocence”. The Prince was part of a powerful old-boys’ network who collectively protected Mr Ball. Prince Charles has since stated that he was deceived by Mr Ball and expressed his regret that he supported him.

Details from the story:

  •  The independent investigation was lead by Alexis Jay.
  • Mr Ball’s 2015 conviction saw him sentenced to 32 months in prison, of which he served half before being released on parole.
  • Mr Ball is now 87 years of age.
  • Police assigned to the 1993 case believed Mr Ball’s powerful friends would attempt to intervene.
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