Hawke’s Bay priest John Tovey accused of sexual offending
An Anglican priest has been charged with sexually violating a woman in Napier.
John Tovey appeared in Napier District Court on Wednesday to face two charges of sexually violation and one charge of indecent assault. The alleged offending occurred in Napier between April last year and January 2.
Tovey, 64, did not enter a plea and was remanded on bail until next month.
He was previously a vicar in North Canterbury and a priest in charge at Churton Park in Wellington for five years, and then in Wainuiomata for 10 years, before moving to Hawke’s Bay in 2010, where he became associate priest at All Saints parish in Taradale, a position he held until late 2011.
The church said that, as soon as Bishop of Waiapu Andrew Hedge became aware of the allegations, he suspended Tovey’s “permission to officiate” indefinitely.
“While the suspension is in place, John is not licensed or authorised by the bishop to undertake any priestly duties. This decision was made independently of any other inquiries or entities,” a spokesman said.
“This is a time for prayer for the community and for John and his family.”