New charges in Chichester abuse case: The Church of England Newspaper, July 8, 2012 p 6. July 9, 2012Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Christchurch, Gordon Rideout
A retired Diocese of Chichester clergyman under charge for sexual abuse has been rearrested. Canon Gordon Rideout is accused of 38 accounts of sexual abuse committed against 18 young girls and boys in their early teens over an 11-year period between 1962 and 1973.
On 28 June 2012 Sussex Police released a statement saying that after a nine month investigation, it was charging Canon Rideout (73) with having committed 31 offenses in Crawley, West Sussex and one in Barkingside, Essex between 1962 and 1968, four indecent assaults in Middle Wallop, Hampshire between 1971 and 1973, and with two counts of attempted unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl in Crawley between 1962 and 1966.
On 16 April was arrested by police on suspicion of having committed four sexual assaults and released on bail. The retired priest was rearrested and charged with the additional offenses after questioning and further investigations by police.
The police investigation followed the release of a report prepared last year by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss into the Diocese of Chichester’s child protection practices.
According to the police, the allegations of abuse were first raised against Canon Rideout in 1972, but no charges were filed. A second allegation was made to police in 2001 and an arrest was made at that time, but the charges were subsequently dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Last week the diocese said it was “committed to ensuring that our churches are safe communities for children and vulnerable adults and to giving the highest priority to statutory safeguarding practice and Church of England policies on safeguarding.”
It added: “At every stage of this investigation the Church continues to co-operate fully with the police and other statutory agencies. The diocese is not aware of any allegations of recent or current offending. The diocese repeats its commitment to support those who come forward to assist the police with inquiries during the course of this investigation.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.