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First time before a judge for churchman.

A SENIOR church official is alleged to have taken a teenager to religious sites before sexually assaulting him.

James Adams, head verger at Newcastle's St Nicholas' Cathedral, has appeared at Crown Court charged with raping a male over 16 and three counts of indecently assaulting a boy under 16.

He is alleged to have committed 10 offences almost 20 years ago. It has also emerged Adams, 57, -who is appearing under the name Colin James Adams -was formerly verger at Llandaff Cathedral.

Yesterday he stood in the dock at Cardiff Crown Court as details of the accusations against him were outlined.

The case was adjourned for a future hearing and then trial.

It was said the alleged victim, now an adult, had contact with Adams in the early 1990s while he was verger in Wales.

The victim claims he was taken on visits to religious sites around the country and assaulted.

A complaint was made to the police earlier this year, following a meeting with a child protection officer for the Church in Wales. At his first Crown Court appearance, Adams, who had been committed by magistrates at Bridgend, appeared before the Recorder of Cardiff Nicholas Cooke QC.

The Recorder allowed bail to continue, telling bearded Adams he must remain in residence at his home in St Nicholas Churchyard, St Nicholas Cathedral.

He will return to court to enter pleas to the 10 charges next month.

CAPTION(S):

ACCUSED: Cathedral verger James Adams
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 5, 2010
Words:243
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