Former trainee vicar and youth leader facing jail after multiple rape conviction
A former youth leader and trainee vicar who preached a gospel of abstinence is facing many years in jail after being convicted of the rape of two teenage girls. Police are appealing for anyone with more information about the one-time Wycliffe student to come forward.
Timothy Storey, 35, was described in court as "every parent's worst nightmare".
He preached the virtues of chastity and abstinence while grooming girls in the congregation at the prominent evangelical church of St Michael's Chester Square in the heart of London's exclusive Belgravia disrtrict.
Court News reported that the Oxford theology student began his "incremental, insidious" grooming by sending the girls flattering messages through social media.
One of his victims, who was raped twice, was so under his control she described him as "more influential than God". Both victims complained to the Church of England about Storey, but the allegations were "brushed aside," Woolwich Crown Court heard.
Storey, of Peckham Grove, Peckham, was found guilty following a retrial of the following offences: three counts of rape and one assault by penetration.
All offences relate to two women now aged in their 20s, and were committed between early 2008 and 2009. Storey, who claimed the abuse was consensual, was known to both victims as a youth leader at church and summer camps which they attended. Over time he befriended the girls and gradually became more inappropriate with them, sending them messages of a sexual nature including on social media and texting.
He managed to manipulate both girls into meeting with him. One of the girls had a much longer relationship with him where he subjected her to inappropriate phone calls to differing degrees of sexual intimacy.
Using his position as a youth leader he gained the victim's trust which enabled the sexual activities to continue, the police reported.
Previously, in May 2014, Storey was convicted of several offences where he groomed girls between 10 and 16 and encouraged them to perform sexual acts via social media. Following his conviction and subsequent three year rehabiliation order, the two other women came forward to report that they too had been victims of Storey and he was arrested and charged.
Detective Constable Paul Hill, of the Metropolitan Police Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: "The victims in this case were young teenagers when Storey assaulted them, having been groomed from a very young age. In his position as a youth leader he manipulated the victims and forced them to engage in sexual acts that they did not want to do.
"They have shown courage in coming forward after so many years to tell us what happened to them. This conviction goes to show that the sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command will pursue sex offenders and bring them to justice.
"Storey thought he had got away with it, but the victims in this case were determined to see him brought to justice. With appropriate support from the police and our partners I urge any other victims of Timothy Storey to come forward and tell us what has happened to them."
Anyone with further information is asked to call the police non-emergency line on 101.
The Diocese of London said in a statement: "Timothy Storey has today been convicted of a series of appalling crimes and we are profoundly sorry for what his victims endured.
"The Diocese of London first received complaints regarding Timothy Storey's conduct in early 2009. He was then training as a Church of England ordinand at Wycliffe Hall.
"The diocese's child protection adviser at the time looked into the allegations and spoke with the Metropolitan Police Westminster Child Protection Team, raising concerns that his actions were an offence under the 2003 Sexual Offences Act.
"Whilst the diocese's child protection adviser recorded that police did not believe any criminal act had been committed, the diocese nevertheless took the decision to withdraw him from ordination training. The diocese subsequently submitted a report to the Independent Safeguarding Authority, now known as the Disclosure and Barring Service.
"Within the submission, the diocese stipulated that it deemed Timothy Storey's behaviour to pose a risk to those under the age of 18 and included first-hand statements that the diocese gathered from the individuals who had made allegations against Mr Storey. The national Church of England was also notified, to prevent him from applying for ordination elsewhere in the country."