This is such unusual behaviour in the Third Sector, isn’t it?
The founder of Britain’s leading charity for survivors of child sexual abuse had a sexual encounter with a woman he knew had allegedly been abused, it emerged yesterday.
Peter Saunders stepped down from the Independent Inquiry into Childhood Sexual Abuse, the investigation into sexual abuse in schools, churches and other institutions, after failing to declare the incident, The Mail on Sunday reported.
The former teacher, who founded the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, first saw the woman in 2008 after she gave an interview talking about the abuse she endured as a child.
Mr Saunders, 61, joined her and her female friend for lunch at a restaurant later that year. After drinking three bottles of wine between them, he went upstairs to use the lavatory where he admitted a “sex act” took place.
After the encounter, which he insists was entirely consensual, the woman complained to police that Mr Saunders had forced her to carry out the act. He was questioned by officers and denied the allegation. The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to proceed due to “insufficient evidence”.
Mr Saunders, who is married with five children between him and his wife, told the newspaper that he was “deeply sorry” and would carry the shame of the incident for the rest of his life. He also expressed regret for paying the restaurant bill on the charity’s credit card.
That last line rather grates, doesn’t it.