Oxford chaplain accused of improper rape remarks gets welfare role at new college

Rev Canon Bruce Kinsey has denied the allegations made about his comments
Rev Canon Bruce Kinsey has denied the allegations made about his comments - www.dailymail.co.uk

An Oxford University chaplain accused of asking a rape victim if she was aware of “the effect she had on men” has been given an interim job as a welfare adviser.

Rev Canon Bruce Kinsey was accused of making a rape victim feel as if she were to blame for her own sexual assault when he was head of welfare at Balliol College, Oxford, in 2021.

One female student alleged he had asked her intimate sexual questions after reporting a rape, including: “Were you a virgin?”

In a meeting with students to address concerns of a “rape culture” at the college, he was reported to have claimed that “perpetrators were ‘puppies who needed to be trained’”.

Rev Kinsey denied the allegations. He told The Times in 2021: “I take claims of sexual assault very seriously. I refer those reporting sexual assault to the appropriate services and would never trivialise such a report of harm.”

It is understood he left his position at the college last year after taking a sabbatical.

Interim chaplain

It has now emerged that Rev Kinsey was hired as a welfare adviser for a different college, St Edmund Hall, where he is providing support on a part-time basis.

A spokeswoman for St Edmund Hall said that Rev Kinsey had served as an interim chaplain at the college for a short time at the start of this term until its new chaplain took on her role in early February.

Rev Kinsey now holds “a short-term advisory position during the transition period and, as planned, that position finishes in March at the end of term”, she added.

The allegations at Balliol prompted an investigation into welfare at the college in 2021. Sarah Hannett KC advised the college in 2022 to ensure all staff are trained to respond effectively to harassment and sexual misconduct, and to create a strategy for preventing harassment and sexual misconduct in the college.

All recommendations were accepted by Balliol.

A separate QC report into Rev Kinsey’s conduct found that he had made the alleged rape victim feel she was to blame for her own sexual assault, and made comments that were “wholly inappropriate”, according to a source who has seen the report.

Details of the report and the reappointment of Rev Kinsey were first reported by MailOnline.

‘Largely exonerated’

Rev Kinsey told MailOnline he disputed some of the claims and said after an investigation he “was largely exonerated by the college”.

The spokeswoman for St Edmund Hall said: “We would also like to emphasise that the college takes all student reports of misconduct by others, including those involving sexual assault and/or harassment, extremely seriously.

“When a report of student misconduct is received, the report is dealt with through a rigorous non-academic disciplinary procedure, formulated on the basis of legal advice from a leading KC, and detailed in the college by-laws.

“In accordance with this process, when a major breach of discipline is alleged, the college arranges for an investigation by an external independent expert, followed by consideration of the evidence by a panel chaired by an independent legal practitioner. Students making reports have welfare support made available to them by one of two female senior welfare officers.”

Balliol and Rev Kinsey did not respond to requests for comment.