Vicar ‘spiritually abused’ boy, 15, in prayer sessions

A vicar has been convicted of spiritual abuse of a teenage boy during private prayer sessions in the boy’s bedroom.

The Reverend Timothy Davis of Christ Church, Abingdon, faced a tribunal after moving in with the boy’s family for six months in 2013.

The Church of England vicar was accused of causing the teenager to be ‘scared’, trying to influence the boy and his relationship with his girlfriend, the panel heard.

During the prayer sessions in the boy’s bedroom the tribunal heard how they laid hands on each other’s head, shoulders, chest and back.

The Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal ruled there was no ‘sexual touching’ and said it would fix a penalty in due course.

Mr Davis lived with the family, who were members of his congregation. He became a mentor to the 15-year-old boy in 2011.

In its judgement, the tribunal said the teenager was “scared” by what Mr Davis was doing.

It said the vicar’s “domination” of the boy amounted to “misconduct which was unbecoming and inappropriate” and caused the boy to be “deprived of his freedom of choice.”

Mr Davis, who is in his 50s, was suspended from his position in 2016. A psychiatrist told the tribunal he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in September 2016.

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