Former Southern Baptist Convention President Paige Patterson and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary have been sued over allegedly mishandling the response to a former student who was raped multiple times.
The lawsuit was filed in May in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas by a former student identified as “Jane Roe” and was unsealed earlier this month.
Roe names Patterson and SWBTS in the suit, accusing them of mistreating her when she reported being stalked and repeatedly raped by a male student identified as “John Doe” in 2014 and 2015.
The lawsuit alleges that when Roe met with Patterson and other male leaders at the Seminary about the sexual assaults, Patterson “seemed to enjoy making Roe even more uncomfortable with his questions.”
When Roe said she felt like “damaged goods” as a result of the rapes, Patterson allegedly responded that it was “a good thing” that she was assaulted, for “the right man would not care if she was a virgin or not.”
Although SWBTS eventually expelled Doe for owning “prohibited weapons,” according to the lawsuit the Seminary “offered no support or protection for Roe and her family.”
“Patterson refused to offer financial assistance for Roe to seek medical attention or counseling and callously rejected Roe’s request for his prayers,” stated the lawsuit.
The suit also alleged that Patterson disclosed information about Roe’s rapes to other people without her consent and during a 2015 meeting denied that she was ever assaulted.
The lawsuit accused the seminary and Patterson of having failed to properly handle the allegations Roe brought and for causing longstanding harm to the plaintiff.
In a statement emailed to The Christian Post on Tuesday, current SWBTS President Adam W. Greenway explained that he could not comment on the ongoing litigation, but did explain that “we take these matters seriously and are committed to our campus being a safe place for the vulnerable and for survivors of abuse.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski