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Chichester priest committed for trial on abuse charges: The Church of England Newspaper, December 29, 2012 January 4, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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A retired Sussex clergyman appeared before the Chichester Crown Court last week and has been committed for trial for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage boy.

The Rev. Robert Coles (71) pled not guilty to sexually abusing a boy between 1982 and 1984, when the child was 15 to 16 years of age.  Mr. Coles was arrested in March and charged in August with several counts of sexual abuse committed between the 1970s and 1990s.  The Crown Prosecution Service said it will decide next month whether to bring further charges of indecent assault against the defendants.  Trial has been set for 10 June 2013.

On 17 Dec 2012, the Diocese of Chichester released a statement confirming Mr. Coles, “a priest formerly licensed in the diocese, has been committed for trial to face charges relating to allegations of sexual abuse in the 70s and 80s.”

“Today’s hearing is the latest development in a 16 month police investigation in which the Diocese of Chichester has been cooperating with Sussex Police. A diocesan spokesperson said: “Our prayers are for anyone affected by today’s hearing. We are unable to comment further at this stage whilst we allow the judicial system to take its course.”

“Our cooperation with Sussex police in this investigation is in line with our ongoing commitment to do all that is necessary to bring any allegations of abuse to the attention of the public authorities, and to ensure that the Diocese of Chichester is a safe place for all,” the diocesan statement said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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