Jonathan Graves a priest at St Luke’s Church in Stone Cross, East Sussex has been jailed for twelve years for sexually abusing two boys in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Graves, 60 years old of Eastbourne, was convicted at the Hove Crown Court on the 14th September 2017 of 12 offences dating between 1987 and 1992. The Court heard how he restrained children who were aged between 12 and 14 years, tortured and beat them.

He would groom the boys he met in his position of vicar of St Luke’s Church by plying them with alcohol, beating them with whips and canes, tying them up with padlocks and forcing the boys to do the same to him.

Judge David Rennie said, “The rituals involved Graves urinating on their heads and forcing the boys to lick toothpaste from between Grave’s toes. With an overwhelming need to seek punishment and humiliation, Graves used the children as play things to satisfy his perverted sexual desires.” Judge Rennie described Graves as “secretive, cynical, manipulative and twisted”.

Deputy Inspector John Gross of Sussex Police Public Protection Command commented, “I’m pleased as far as you can be with this, it’s a significant sentence for this type of offence. This man has had two personas, the public persona that his congregation knew and let parents put their children in his care, and behind closed doors the planning to groom these children and get them to do despicable things. He added he had nothing but admiration for the victims who came forward and stuck with the prosecution process for about four years.”

Jordans Solicitors are currently representing a large number of clients who have suffered sexual abuse through their involvement with religious organisations. Where a person abuses their position of trust and commits an act of assault, a claim may be possible. We would encourage anyone affected to contact our child abuse lawyers to pursue a civil claim.

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