Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Responds to Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is committed to protecting survivors of abuse and being a safe place for the vulnerable, SWBTS President Adam W. Greenway said in response to a lawsuit filed by a former student who alleges being raped by a fellow student.

“While we cannot address issues in ongoing litigation, it is important that the Southwestern Seminary community know that we take these matters seriously and are committed to our campus being a safe place for the vulnerable and for survivors of abuse,” Greenway told Baptist Press today (June 24). Both Southwestern Seminary and former SWBTS President Paige Patterson are named as defendants.

“As I said in my report at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, I realize in a Genesis 3 world that there may be times when our seminary may fall short of expectations,” Greenway told BP. “In any and every area where this has been the case, I am sorry. It is my resolve for our seminary to do better.”

Greenway responded to a personal injury lawsuit that alleges “Jane Roe” was forcibly raped at gunpoint on at least three occasions from October 2014 through April 2015 by a fellow student with an extensive criminal history who also was employed as an SWBTS plumber.

Roe alleges neither Patterson nor SWBTS sought to protect her when she reported her abuse. Instead, the suit claims, Patterson in particular intimidated Roe, disparaged her and told her being raped was “a good thing,” “because the right man would not care if she was a virgin or not.” Also, the lawsuit claims, SWBTS had no system in place to prevent and address the sexual assault of students.

The lawsuit was unsealed June 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Sherman.

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Source: Baptist Press