Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases Come to Light in the Baptist Church

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February 20, 2019
Edward Smith

Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases Come to Light in the Baptist Church

Although the news has been focused on clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic church, recent investigations have shed light on similar problems in the Baptist church. The investigations were led by two large newspapers – The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News. In the past 20 years, Baptist ministers, youth pastors, and deacons have faced charges of sex crimes. In all, 700 abused individuals are dealing with the emotional and psychological aftermath.  

The Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse

The collaborative investigation by the newspapers revealed that more than 200 Southern Baptist pastors and youth pastors as well as others were either convicted of or agreed to plea deals for sexual abuse. The leaders of the churches have called the abuse evidence of “pure evil in their ranks.” They gave assurances that the matter will be dealt with so that the churches can deal with clergy sexual abuse.

The most recent investigation and reporting by the newspapers did not seem unexpected in light of an earlier investigation of independent Baptist churches by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. This dealt with the way the clergy sexual abuse was handled. It seemed possible that the Southern Baptists would also be examined, according to a leader of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Abuse of Faith Investigation

The newspapers released the information in a series of reports called the abuse of faith investigation over February 9 and 10. Overall, it was reported that approximately 380 Baptists were allegedly involved. About 100 are in prison across the country, according to both federal and state documents. An unknown number pleaded guilty and were not incarcerated. One hundred are currently registered sex offenders.  

Remarks by the President of the Southern Baptist Convention

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, said on February 10 that the leaders of the church should have paid attention when accusations were made. He promised that he was fully dedicated to making sure that it never happens again. Back in June, the ethics committee announced they were going to investigate the situation and look into the extent of the problem. The president of that committee said that if those who rape continue to have access to the individuals who are able to be harmed, they are not in league with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

According to Greear, in the future, they are implementing a plan that incorporates prevention, healing of those affected and cooperation with authorities. It is important, Greear maintained, to work with authorities and to see their presence as supportive. He said that the time has come for change.

Trauma Caused by a Sexual Assault

Sexual assaults are among the most horrific and can leave the person not only with physical pain and damage but can have long-lasting repercussions emotionally and psychologically. It can be even more traumatic when the abuser is someone with the clergy. Some of these assaults can lead to a post-traumatic stress disorder, which can be debilitating and affect that person’s future relationships and sense of safety and justice. A lawyer experienced in these types of traumas may help by investigating and compiling the evidence to present a strong case in civil court for damages.

Clergy Sexual Assault Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a clergy sexual assault lawyer. As time goes on, more and more cases of sexual assault by clergymen come to light. A lawyer who is experienced in these types of harm can help someone who was assaulted obtain the compensation they deserve and need. For my free and friendly advice, you can connect with me at (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento area or (800) 404-5400 elsewhere. Some prefer to use my online contact form.

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