SWBTS responds to sexual abuse lawsuit

SWBTS President "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." - BPNews

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Bert Perry's picture

I'm sad to see that someone apparently has a case, but I'm hopeful because SWBTS is starting the discussion by admitting that they can and will have problems due to human sin, and that they may need to make some apologies.  This is a very welcome change.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

I have read some of the legal complaint against SWBTS.  Everyone involved looks terrible, and there were more than a few times when I had to put it down and walk away.  Paige Patterson, in particular, looks like a real monster in every sense of the word. 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

TylerR's picture

Editor

This is a civil suit, and the allegations don't have to be backed by a criminal or regulatory investigation, or by any resemblance to facts. That means we should always to take representations in civil suits with a grain of salt. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

Tyler, keep in mind that in both civil and criminal complaints, perjury is a crime that is occasionally punished.  The real caution here, civil or criminal, is that the plaintiff must (absent a dingbat jury) prove their case first--though admittedly civil cases are easier to win, having a lower burden of proof.  

For my part, a cursory reading of the accusation reveals a fairly simple set of facts the jury will use to decide.  (or mediator)

  • Did SWBTS perform a criminal background check and reference check on the plumber?
  • If they did, did they hire someone with a serious criminal record that should have required a different approach to that person's employment?
  • Does SWBTS have Title IX documentation that details how the case was handled?  What does it indicate about the case?

My bet is that if the answer to the first question is "no", SWBTS will ask to proceed to mediation.  In that case, the amount settled on will depend on the second and third questions.  And at this point, what I can say for sure is that it's a relief that (unlike Patterson in his "defense" of himself last year) SWBTS is not selectively leaking Title IX documents already.  They have that much down.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.  -Proverbs 18:17 NKJV

David R. Brumbelow

Jay's picture

This is a civil suit, and the allegations don't have to be backed by a criminal or regulatory investigation, or by any resemblance to facts.

That is true - and David's reference to Proverbs 18:17 is certainly warranted - but it seems to me that there are all sorts of verifiable facts provided within the complaint.  There are, for example, verbatim text and email exchanges, specific dates and times of meetings with the involved parties listed, an investigation about the possession of illegal weapons by the local police department, etc.

Some of it can and will be misunderstood/misrepresented for sure.  But other facts are not going to be easily pushed aside.  Discovery will not be for the faint of heart.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

Here's the Houston Chronicle on this case.  It has a lot of similarities to one of the cases that was involved in driving Patterson from SWBTS, and if it's the same one, it appears to be one where Patterson was selectively releasing Title IX documents to "defend" himself--ironically (IMO) making it absolutely imperative for him to be fired.  SWBTS could weather bad decisions and the wrath of the "twitterverse", but Title IX documents being illegally released could have brought a horde of DoEd lawyers there and basically shut the place down.  

If you read the article carefully, you're going to see a number of places where you will, or will not, have a lot of corroborating evidence.  Since SWBTS can theoretically countersue if all this falls apart, my guess is a huge portion of it is real, and this lawsuit will be settled before trial.  

Saddest thing; this young lady's faith may be darned near trashed as a result. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

I’m not trying to be mean here but only a  big settlement $$$$$$ will force these Christian Churches and Institutions to stop this nonsense. Considering CAM just blatantly did it in Ohio only means that big money losses coming out of these people’s and institutions pockets will stop the insanity.

 I believe many more lawsuits are coming.  NJ just retroactively dropped the statute of limitations on these matters.    PA will soon join NJ now that it’s out that the PA Catholic Church was spreading 10 mil of money around  for lobbying purposes.  It did not look good for PA State Senate Republicans.  Plus my Republican State Senator who had his son Jr run in his place was voted out and replaced by a Democrat.   This Republican Senator led the charge against dropping the Statute of Limitations retroactively. 

It should be noted that Homeland Security is getting some big convictions and prison time on American Fundy/Evangelical Missionaries for child sex abuse.  The prison sentences have been 40 years on the low end and to life on the high end.   God forbid a Missionary Administrator or Pastor gets caught State Side for aiding and abetting.  

It would be very useful in my mind for some serious training to be done in Fundy/Evangelical Mission Agencies and churches so idiots don’t get any hard time.  Even if it needs to be physically hammered into their heads verbally.   CAM in Ohio is proof these stupid people are still doing it.  We may see are firsts real  heavy  charges and long sentences go against Pastors and Missionary Administrators. The FBI and Homeland Security are investigating CAM.   The case on CAM should be followed and the convictions and sentences should be documented for use in this training ie this is what is going to happen if you go down this path.  

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Dr. Paige Patterson’s letter to the Houston Chronicle:

February 14, 2019

Mr. Steve Riley

Acting Editor

The Houston Chronicle

4747 Southwest Freeway

Houston, Texas 77027

Dear Mr. Editor:

For 42 years, I have said to each graduating class, “If you have not settled forever the issue of sexual purity, take your diploma tomorrow and leave church ministry altogether.”  I feel compelled to respond to the Houston Chronicle article in which I was cited. 

In the case of Darrell Gilyard, Dr. Keith Eitel (now a dean at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Dr. Danny Akin (now president at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) worked directly with me to uncover and confirm Darrell’s unfaithfulness to Christ.  Dr. Keith Eitel has film of the proceedings of Gilyard’s discipline at the Criswell College, and Gilyard was consequently expelled from school.  Dr. Akin accompanied me to Gilyard’s church to be certain that he resigned.  I called as many places as I knew where he was scheduled to preach and asked them to cancel his invitation.  Most did cancel, and he no longer speaks in Southern Baptist churches. 

Further, letters exist in my file from the young woman at Southeastern thanking me for the way in which her situation was handled.  She now (more than a decade later) claims to have been raped.  According to Dr. Akin as quoted in a Baptist Press article, the term “rape” was not found in the report in her official student file, and there are no details of information being given to me or of my involvement in the matter.  Dr. Akin did confirm that my vice presidents had handled the matter properly as this was during the transition of my presidency to Southwestern. 

Fort Worth Police records show that within seconds of receiving an allegation of rape at Southwestern by a female student with her mother present, I called the police.  They arrived in less than twenty minutes.  The young man – also a student – was immediately dismissed from the school.  The young woman was asked by me to file charges against him, and she refused.  The Southwestern trustees even confirmed in a public statement, “evidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse.” 

Houston Chronicle reporters have slandered and totally misrepresented me, and in so doing have significantly harmed my ministry.  The events they report are tragic.  However, there is no reason to punish the innocent with the wicked. I applaud SBC president Dr. J.D. Greear for doing all that he can to bring this abrogation of righteousness and justice to a halt.  Anyone abusing a child, a woman, or any weaker person is wrong and marked by deviant behavior.  Anyone claiming to be a follower of Christ who acts in such a way or who protects one who preys upon another is both opprobrious and ignoble.  Anyone claiming to be a minister of the Gospel who is thus involved is reprehensible and should not continue in the ministry.  

The facts are available to anyone who wishes to know the truth.  A good investigative reporter should study existing evidence to identify and bring to justice those who are guilty, being careful not to accuse one who has been completely cleared of the charges alleged.  

Until He comes,

Paige Patterson

Dallas, Texas

https://www.paigepatterson.org/blog/letter-to-the-editor

David R. Brumbelow

Jim Welch's picture

I do not mean to be disrespectful.  I do not want to cause a fire storm, but I have a question.  How does one get raped on three separate occasions at gunpoint?  I am serious, not meaning to cast doubt on the accuser.

Those that are wiser than I am, can you explain?

Jay's picture

Jim, 

It's actually completely understandable why you are confused.

If there is an conditional element of harm attached to having sex with someone - I will shoot you (or kill myself, which is something else her assailant said to Jane), then it's no longer consensual and becomes rape or one of several other criminal charges.

Findlaw defines it thusly:

The crime of rape generally refers to non-consensual sexual intercourse that is committed by physical force, threat of injury, or other duress.

Common law defined rape as unlawful intercourse by a man against a woman who is not his wife by force or threat and against her will.

I hope that clears it up.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

Jim, what Jay says, and you might ask in the same way how many of Larry Nassar's victims were repeatedly violated.  The answer is that those who were violated did not perceive the freedom to leave.  In this case, the victim was simply afraid the police would not neutralize the threat, which makes sense when we consider that when a group looked at sexual assault cases in Minnesota, in only 20% of the cases were basic protocols followed.  Scary thing is that if conviction rates are an indication, we're better than average here.  A tremendous number of sexual assault victims, about 69%, do not even report for reasons like this.  

(in the gymnastics cases, it's more complicated--it looked sort of like medical care, Nassar had enormous prestige, and gymnasts are conditioned to some pretty amazing obedience by the very nature of the sport--it's all about what the judges, other people, think)

Regarding Patterson's February statement, the "I have thank you notes" means nothing to me, as I view it as entirely likely that a student would be bullied into silence by victim-blaming, and then more or less be forced to write the thank you notes as a condition of staying in school.  It's also worth noting that he was, again, sharing data that really belonged to Title IX efforts without permission.  So that letter that David shared was probably a BIG part of why the lawsuit was filed.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

I’d say If that E Mail exists and the other witnesses corroborated the victims story Godly Paige is a lying bum.  I can’t see the Seminary firing Paige Patterson in the first place unless the evidence really weighed against Patterson’s testimony.  

If Paige Patterson is a bold face lair we should all take note of it the next time we deal with these situations.  Meaning the victim is telling the truth no matter how much we love the alleged Perp and can’t believe he or she could do such a thing.   One also needs to be objective and if unable to be objective one must have the commonsense to remove one self from the process due to a conflict of interest even if one is the Senior Pastor of a Church.       

Jay's picture

It has a lot of similarities to one of the cases that was involved in driving Patterson from SWBTS, and if it's the same one, it appears to be one where Patterson was selectively releasing Title IX documents to "defend" himself--ironically (IMO) making it absolutely imperative for him to be fired.

There are at least two separate cases involving Patterson at SBC-affiliated seminaries.  One involved a woman by the name of Megan Lively at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Jane Roe (the woman involved in this case) was allegedly raped at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2014-2015, eleven years later.

I know that's an older post but wanted to make sure that everyone understood that it's multiple incidents over more than a decade, not just the same case.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

Joe, read the complaint provided by Jay.  Suffice it to say that there are a lot of points of reference and a lot of likely witnesses to Patterson's conduct, and if a good portion of them come through, whether or not a "break her down" email is found or not will not matter.  My nickel bet is that these points of reference exist and will hold up under cross examination, because lawyers really dislike being embarrassed in court--not to mention legal discipline in the case most of it is false.

But that said, things get even worse if someone says they saw it, and it's not in the custody of SWBTS.  Again, Title IX.  

Final note; my comment from yesterday at 3pm was guessing that this case is precisely the SWBTS case Jay mentions.  I can't say it conclusively, and for that matter, some people around the scene are suggesting that there are a number of cases which haven't bubbled to the surface yet.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

mmartin's picture

After reading/skimming the complaint I agree with Joeb about the role a big dollar settlement will get these churches and organizations attention enough to get their act together.  I also agree with Jay that Patterson comes off as a monster.

I am not saying this woman's testimony is false, but not all sex assault accusations are valid.  That said, the way Patterson looks in the complaint is well beyond the pale.  Wow!!

The human reaction is me is to say I hope Patterson & SWBTS are crushed by these legal proceedings.  Not destroyed, but that the legal proceedings and settlement are so one-sided and extremely clear of fault and negligence that there is NO doubt of incompetent & reckless behavior by Patterson & SWBTS.

Reading the complaint reminds me of reading about the Ketcham scandal and the incompetent response by ABWE senior management.  

Two Thoughts:

1.  Based on the complaint, this woman deserves a LARGE settlement.  (I do understand that a settlement would not be based on a complaint without a defense by the defendant.  But, this complaint does not look good for Patterson & SWBTS.  At. All.)

2.  After reading the complaint, I need to take a long shower.

Bert Perry's picture

Perhaps a big settlement will get the attention of "our tribes", but anyone familiar with how Michigan State and USA Gymnastics have mishandled the scandals surrounding Larry Nassar (like myself) might respond "they won't clue in until it's their jobs and their money on the line, not that of donors and taxpayers."

Or, given that LouAnna Simon and John Engler were indeed shown the door at MSU due to this, perhaps not even then.  A number of USAG personnel were also shown the door, but with no large changes made there, and no openness to help the victims become whole.  

Big thing here--and I have the hope that it IS happening in the SBC and at SWBTS in particular--is the question of examining what was done in light of Scripture and current law, and then saying "what do we need to change?"  As mmartin notes, if you can read the allegations without wanting a shower, you might want to see if your nose is working anymore.  You don't need to totally say "I believe you" to everything, but "I take this seriously enough to get the proper people investigating" would be a great start.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dmyers's picture

On the contrary, civil complaints are not signed or filed under penalty of perjury, unless the plaintiff voluntarily files a "verified" complaint for a strategic purpose, such as immediately filing a motion for judgment on the pleadings (very rare).  In fact, you can't even be sued for deliberately making defamatory (false) statements in a publicly-available complaint because there is a privilege for allegations in a pleading (to avoid a chilling effect on legitimate but debatable allegations).  So, a plaintiff's complaint should not be treated as if it has inherent reliability because the plaintiff would face legal risk for falsehoods -- that's not the case.  Any prognostications about the plaintiff's truthfulness have to be conditional at this point (which does not mean that the plaintiff isn't right).  

Bert Perry's picture

Here's an article about how statements in civil suits can indeed be prosecuted for perjury, though it is admittedly uncommon.  Perhaps our civil courts would clean up if we gave more corrupt people the "Bill Clinton" treatment.  This is also the grounds for a lot of counter-suits in civil court where the plaintiff should have known they didn't have a case.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dmyers's picture

Bert, the article you cite is talking about perjury for false statements under oath in a deposition (i.e., testimony, outside of court, but no less binding than in-court testimony), and of course that is prosecutable (and should probably be prosecuted much more often).  But that is completely different from allegations in an unsworn pleading, which is not under oath and is not subject to the penalty of perjury.  My original comment stands:  you can't assume that a plaintiff is telling the truth in a complaint on the inaccurate assumption that they face perjury prosecution if they don't tell the truth.  That just isn't the case.

Mark_Smith's picture

You are a woman who works at McDonald's. A fellow employee, who is male, at gunpoint rapes you on three different occasions. Do you...

1) Go to the manager of McDonald's and demand that the male employee be fired, begging that they not involve anyone else, especially the police... until 14 years later when they call the Houston Chronicle and now contact the police, but also sue the manager for not firing the male employee.

or

2) Do you call the police and let them contact McDonald's, hoping that the guy is prosecuted.

 

I'd do #2. So why do all of these church and seminary cases involve people doing #1 (and almost never #2). I simply do not understand it.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Mark, some serious research has gone into studying why victims don't report. It's more complex than one would expect. The Bureau of Justice Statistics page on the topic is a good place to start, though I think I've also been some studies by universities, various non-profits and other NGOs. 

https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=96

The BJS info on the question tends to be buried in publications with broader topics. So it does take some digging. I know I saw something specifically on that not long ago, though, so I'll see if I can link it here.

Edit: This National Institute of Justice page is a better place to start. Pulls together a good bit of info on that topic specifically, and there are links to lots more info: Reporting of Sexual Violence Incidents

A short observation to sum up: many sexual assaults (maybe most) are not committed by strangers, and most are more subtle than the gunpoint scenario you described. The manipulation is usually a more subtle form of intimidation or shaming. It's true that many cases are right on the sometimes fine line between consensual and non-consensual. In those situations, the victim is somewhat uncertain of consensuality also (which increases guilt and fear factors), just as the courts are in trying to decide these cases.

GregH's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

You are a woman who works at McDonald's. A fellow employee, who is male, at gunpoint rapes you on three different occasions. Do you...

1) Go to the manager of McDonald's and demand that the male employee be fired, begging that they not involve anyone else, especially the police... until 14 years later when they call the Houston Chronicle and now contact the police, but also sue the manager for not firing the male employee.

or

2) Do you call the police and let them contact McDonald's, hoping that the guy is prosecuted.

 

I'd do #2. So why do all of these church and seminary cases involve people doing #1 (and almost never #2). I simply do not understand it.

There are some very "Stockholm Syndrome" kinds of things that go on in these situations. Unless you have experience in it, it makes no sense. Even after you have experience in it, it is hard to explain.

Jay's picture

Here's some additional knowledge that might help you:

Knowing definitively that you were assaulted does not make reporting it any easier. Many survivors report feeling humiliated after being assaulted, and not wanting anyone to know what happened. There's also a stigma. Some survivors may believe that being assaulted makes them "damaged goods," and are afraid of being judged for something that is completely not their fault. Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted and held captive for nine months when she was 14, told Vice that she felt being assaulted made her somehow less worthy. "I was kidnapped and I was raped, and one of the first thoughts I had was, 'No one is ever going to want to marry me now. I'm worthless, I'm filthy, I'm dirty,'" she said. "...It was almost crippling."

There's also the sad reality of what it's like to report sexual assault. If you make a report to law enforcement, chances are you need to talk about it over and over again, re-living what happened. A survivor may be worried that they can't "prove" anything happened to them, if there is no physical evidence available. They may worry about appearing "too calm" or "too hysterical" to be taken seriously. If they choose to have a rape kit performed, that experience can be traumatizing, too.

Some law enforcement agencies participate in the Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) program, meaning that they are trained specifically to respond to sexual assault. Unfortunately, this is rare, and many survivors call their reporting experiences traumatic. This year alone, numerous reports have documented police officers blaming survivors for what happened to them, or refusing to move forward with their cases.

In a piece for xoJane, Eden Strong wrote that she regrets reporting her rape to police because of the way officers treated her. She remembers feeling humiliated while the police asked her questions like: "What position did he use? How many times did he penetrate you? Did you orgasm or just him?" At the police station, she asked for a woman or a rape advocate to be there with her, and her requests were denied. "When I finally left, I felt so defeated. So worthless. So humiliated," she wrote. Her case was never solved.

For some people, reporting sexual assault can lead to them being punished. Take the case of a female midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, who reported being raped by three football players at an off-campus party in 2012. The woman was swiftly punished for underage drinking. Gay and bisexual students who reported assaults at Brigham Young University faced being suspended or even expelled for violating the school's honor code prohibiting “homosexual behavior."

Even once someone goes through the process of reporting, re-living what happened, having a rape kit done, and going to court and facing the person who attacked them, it's very uncommon for people accused of assault to actually go to jail for their crimes.

What a world, huh?

None of this is to discourage anyone from reporting their own assault. Survivors should be given the agency to decide what route is best for them. But to those who ask why women don't report sexual assault, I have some questions in return:

Remember when Rihanna needed medical treatment after Chris Brown beat her, and hospital photographs of her injuries were broadcast all over the internet? Remember when a judge told Kesha she couldn't break her contract with a man she said drugged and raped her? Remember when, time and time again, rapists were excused because their victims wore "skimpy" clothing? Remember the women who reported what happened, then lost their jobs? The women who were publicly identified and called liars on the internet? The women who just want to be believed?

That's why.

Or in Psychology Today, which I'll only excerpt because the article is so long:

Shame

One of the primary reasons women don’t come forward to report sexual harassment or assault is shame. Shame is at the core of the intense emotional wounding women and men experience when they are sexually violated. As expert on shame Gershen Kaufman aptly stated in his book Shame: The Power of Caring, “Shame is a natural reaction to being violated or abused. In fact, abuse, by its very nature, is humiliating and dehumanizing.” This is especially true with sexual violations. The victim feels invaded and defiled, while simultaneously experiencing the indignity of being helpless and at the mercy of another person.

Denial, Minimization

This tendency to blame themselves and to be overwhelmed with shame leads into the next important reason why women don’t come forward: denial and minimization. Many women refuse to believe that the treatment they endured was actually abusive. They downplay how much they have been harmed by sexual harassment and even sexual assault. They convince themselves that “it wasn’t a big deal.” As one client told me, “I know a lot of women who were brutally raped, and I have friends who were sexually abused in childhood. Being sexually harassed by my boss was nothing compared to what these women went through. I told myself to just move on and forget the whole thing.”

Unfortunately, this same client had come to see me because she was suffering from depression. She couldn’t sleep at night, she had no appetite, she had lost her motivation, and she had isolated herself from friends and family. When we traced these symptoms back, we discovered that they all began after the sexual harassment incident. Depression is one of the major after-effects of sexual harassment or assault. Victims may experience self-doubt, which can lead to self-blame, and the hopelessness of the situation can also lead to depression.

Fear of the Consequences

Fear of the repercussions is a huge obstacle women face when it comes to reporting sexual harassment or assault — fear of losing their job, fear they won’t find another job, fear they will be passed over for a promotion, fear of losing their credibility, fear of being branded a troublemaker, fear of being blackballed in their industry, fear of their physical safety. This is true whether it is a case of a young woman in her first job being harassed, an actress trying to make her way in the entertainment business, or a career woman desperately trying to break through the glass ceiling.

Many don’t disclose, because they fear they won’t be believed, and until very recently, that has primarily been the case. The fact that sexual misconduct is the most under-reported crime is due to a common belief that women make up these stories for attention or to get back at a man who rejected them. Victims' accounts are often scrutinized to the point of exhaustion. In high-profile cases, victims are often labeled opportunists, blamed for their own victimization, and punished for coming forward. 

Another reason why victims don’t report or delay reporting is that they fear retaliation, and we have evidence from recent events to validate that fear. Sexual harassers frequently threaten the lives, jobs, and careers of their victims. And many victims are frightened by the perpetrator’s position of power and what he could do with it. Those who have reported sexual harassment or assault, especially by powerful men, have reported that they lost their jobs, and that their careers or reputations have been destroyed. In the case of Harvey Weinstein, the New Yorker reported that he enlisted private security agencies staffed with “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and government intelligence units” to collect information on women and journalists who tried to expose sexual harassment allegations against him. This fear of retaliation does not only apply to high-profile cases; people who wield their power to prey on other people are often quite adept at holding onto that power by any means necessary. Sexual harassment cuts across all industries — Hollywood, politics, media, tech, and service industries, like food services. 

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Joeb's picture

What we have seen here on SI is the problem once highlighted as being in the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) realm is actually across the whole Evangelical Spectrum.  There is no one group or church it has not happened and/or happened with Institutional corruption.   I have to say on the Institutional corruption side the late comers in my mind and the repeat offenders are the most egregious.  Most not typically identified as IFB.  In fact somewhat crazier then the IFB Offenders to outright looney.  So earlier claims by SI participants in the IFB realm that it was not just their problem is proving to be very true in my mind.    

Mark_Smith's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Mark, some serious research has gone into studying why victims don't report. It's more complex than one would expect. The Bureau of Justice Statistics page on the topic is a good place to start, though I think I've also been some studies by universities, various non-profits and other NGOs. 

https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=96

The BJS info on the question tends to be buried in publications with broader topics. So it does take some digging. I know I saw something specifically on that not long ago, though, so I'll see if I can link it here.

Edit: This National Institute of Justice page is a better place to start. Pulls together a good bit of info on that topic specifically, and there are links to lots more info: Reporting of Sexual Violence Incidents

A short observation to sum up: many sexual assaults (maybe most) are not committed by strangers, and most are more subtle than the gunpoint scenario you described. The manipulation is usually a more subtle form of intimidation or shaming. It's true that many cases are right on the sometimes fine line between consensual and non-consensual. In those situations, the victim is somewhat uncertain of consensuality also (which increases guilt and fear factors), just as the courts are in trying to decide these cases.

 

Thanks for your response. I still would like to ask if anyone holds a McDonald's manager to the same level you all are expecting Paige Patterson to be held at.

Mark_Smith's picture

Several of you apparently missed the point on my question. YES, I know all about the explanations why victims do not report. OK. My question is more rhetorical.

My question is shaped by my experience, as I have posted here before. I work at a small state university. In the last 11 years this school has been involved in three rape cases involving students. If you read the case filed against the school, each one reads just like the one against Patterson and SWBTS. Man, the school looks bad. They allowed this horrible person to be on campus, ignored the claims of the victim, wantonly ignored the needs of the victim, etc. In every case, the school escaped the charges. Why? I do not know as the details are not publicly released. What I can tell you is that in all three cases, years later the victims are all still bitter and hold the school accountable.

So, look with that in mind, let's look at the SWBTS case. The claimant has made several accusations and assumptions. First, by filing the lawsuit she is claiming that SWBTS is solely responsible for what happened to her. Or, that they had divine knowledge of what was going on, because until much later she never reported her situation to the school.

Second, the allegation is full of references to her believing the perpetrator's claims that Patterson approved of him... that is nothing but his claim and her belief.

Third, she claims repeatedly to have been injured severely after being assaulted, yet the report at least never mentions any visit to a hospital or doctor for care. Thus, her claim is nothing but hearsay. If you never record an injury, how do we know it happened? Especially in a situation as important as rape. I hate to bring this up, but it sees valid. No evidence. If this is not the case I retract it.

Fourth, the allegation has some pretty unbelievable claims of what Patterson did. She asked for prayer and he refused? Really? The report says that he said the rape "was a good thing"... I want to see the entire conversation and the context before I believe that a seminary president said that in the way it is presented. It also acts like Patterson willfully hired a known criminal and then gave him the keys to the campus with no control... really?

Fifth, why did Doe not complete the report with the police, or, as the allegation sees to suggest, the complaint with the police was a lot less detailed and far reaching as she is making now or made with Patterson.

Sixth, why is Doe suing SWBTS when the perpetrator has seemingly gone scot-free (correct me if I am wrong). Hint: $$$

I could go on and on, but my reputation is probably already destroyed. Many of you took the victims claims as true without any consideration that they are biased. I get it. It is totally politically incorrect to do anything else. But, seriously, read this allegation critically. If true, Patterson isn't just arrogant and power hungry, he is evil. EVIL. Really? Or, maybe, just maybe, there is some hyperbole here. Maybe, just maybe, the victim isn't taking responsibility for things they did or didn't do. No, I am not giving the criminal a pass. Send him to jail if he is convicted ( which I am not sure he has been charged?? Has he? If he has I missed it). Yet, people cannot be raped repeatedly, never tell anyone, then years later come back and claim institutional bias and behavior against them. Sooner or later, the victim HAS TO GO TO THE POLICE. Only the police and the criminal justice system could protect Doe from the perpetrator. Patterson could not, yet this allegation acts like he had sole power to do so...

So, my ultimate thought to victims is, GO TO THE POLICE. Only they can help you.

Bert Perry's picture

What Jay says,and a personal story is that when my neighbor (and other kids) was molested by a teacher, the police didn't do anything--this was about 1980 or so.  More or less, the matter was settled by my neighbor's dad, and I'm guessing most of the local fire department (neighbor's dad was the fire chief) having a little visit with the offender and suggesting gently that he would do well to leave town and never work with kids again.  I would guess he went on to molest others somewhere else.

Put gently, when you have sex involved, as well as people who often have mental illnesses like depression/PTSD (for the victims) and narcissistic personality disorder (for the offenders), these matters are a lot messier than you'd think.

In the seminary cases in particular, what you also had was--really in every case--a timely report being made to university staff, most of whom decided to intimidate the person instead of helping them to get justice.  There is a terrible pattern of "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel", things like acting as if having an opposite sex student in their room was the big deal, not that the opposite sex student raped them.   You'll see the same thing in the GRACE report about BJU and the PII report about ABWE, as well as elsewhere. 

Or, put in terms from some nasty stuff my alma mater was involved in, look up some of the idiot stunts John Engler and Joel Ferguson of the MSU Board of Trustees did to Larry Nassar's victims.  Rachael Denhollander and others put on a clinic about how to make allegations of that nature stick--including everything from medical records to Nassar's own papers to TItle IX investigations that used insiders to declare Nassar innocent, and even that couldn't persuade Engler et al that it would be a bad idea to insult those ladies (and at least one gentleman I believe).  Instead, he said openly that it was just about the money, that the victims/survivors were "enjoying" their time in the spotlight, flat out lied about approaching one survivor with an insulting offer (big breach of legal ethics that Engler, a lawyer, should have known), and a bunch more.  

Even after losing a HALF BILLION DOLLAR lawsuit, they still don't seem to get it.  And that's on every television screen in the country.  Wonder why young victims don't report?  They know their file isn't nearly as thick as the one Rachael Denhollander brought, and they watched how Joel Ferguson and John Engler and others treated her.  Do.The.Math.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

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