LGBT charity would have been closed by regulator over CEO’s sex offences

Bobby Rae March 23, 2016
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An LGBT charity would have been removed from the Register of Charities by the Charity Commission after its chief executive was convicted of sex offences involving children.

A report released by the commission today (March 23), revealed that Salisbury-based Rainbow Rooms LGBT (which closed in March 2014) would have been removed from the register.

LGBT charity would have been closed by regulator over CEO’s sex offences

It was placed under investigation in October 2013, after discovering that William Clark, who was the founder, as well as a trustee and chief executive officer, had lied about previous convictions.

The investigation closed in April 2014, pending the outcome of police inquiries and a subsequent prosecution.

In today’s report, it was found that Mr Clark, was unsuitable to hold the senior positions that he did, that service users would be at risk if they used the charity and that he had mismanaged and committed misconduct.

In November last year, he was sentenced to 28 months in prison for possessing indecent images of children and voyeurism. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

For lying to the Charity Commission he was sentenced to four months, though this was to be served concurrently with his other convictions.

The investigation against the charity was opened when Mr Clark told police he had failed to get a criminal record check, as it would have disclosed a number of convictions that would have made him unsuitable for the role.

He also admitted to providing false information to the commission and the other trustees in order to hold his position within the organisation.

Michelle Russell, director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Charity Commission, said: “This case shows that misleading the commission is a serious offence that has very real consequences.

“The individual showed a blatant disregard for the law, and put young people at risk. We welcome the robust sentence passed down in this case, and hope it may act as a deterrent to those who may attempt such serious misconduct.”

The report concluded Mr Clark had committed serious misconduct, but the charity had already closed after a false rape claim was made against Mr Clark.

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Related topics: Charity, England, Salisbury

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