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UK News

Rape-accused priest’s story like ‘teenage fantasy’, court told

by Press Association

The account of a sexual encounter put forward by a priest who is accused of rape was like a “strange, teenage boy’s fantasy”, a court heard.

Retired John Anthony Clohosey, 72, who presided over churches across north-east England, denies raping a woman in 1986 and said what happened was consensual.

He claims that he visited her and after he asked her several times to have sex with him, she said “I agree” and left to go into her bedroom.

The Roman Catholic priest has previously told Newcastle Crown Court he waited several minutes then followed her into her room, where she was partially dressed, on the bed.

Clohosey has told the court they kissed and cuddled, in what was the first sexual encounter of his life, but they did not have sex.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, told the jury: “How realistic you think this all is, is of course, a matter for you, but it really is a bizarre account.”

In his closing speech, Mr Dodds added: “It is a strange, teenage boy’s fantasy, but when you look at it, it doesn’t bear scrutiny.”

Jurors have heard his accuser, who cannot be identified, asked the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle for help to pay a legal bill and she grew angry when she was turned down, as the Catholic church had paid out money to victims of sexual abuse.

She said in an email that she herself had been abused by a serving priest years before, the court heard.

And she later told police she was raped in her own home by Clohosey, after he had asked her to have sex with him several times.

Robin Patton, defending, was due to make a closing speech on behalf of Clohosey, whose last parish was in Crook, County Durham, and who now lives at St Mary’s Priory, Filey, North Yorkshire.

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