Bob Jones Administrator Suspended For Soliciting A Prostitute In 1991

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Easton's picture

Went to school with this guy - he graduated in 1982...

...the year I was supposed to graduate, but I was expelled 3 weeks shy of graduation.  No, not for soliciting a prostitute.

See, I know not to do that.

Yes, yes - I'm weird that way.

Bartosch was "Who's Who" in 1982 and BJU Student Body President that year, but within 9 short years he was serving prison time - for a sex crime.

But, no worries!  We know Joe - he was a good man while here at The Fortress of Faith!  Background check?!  Surely you jest, sir!

Now, Easton?  If he ever comes back on campus, well, we want him fully investigated!  Spare no expense!

Brent Marshall's picture

The Superior Court of California page for this incident is here.

As I read that page, the charge was dimissed after conviction in 1994 pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1203.4, which provides for the expungement of California criminal records in certain cases. Readers interested in the current version of the section, which could differ from the one in effect in 1994, can find it here and here.

In Googling this provision, I found this web page by the California-based Shouse Law Group, which states:

As we discuss below, once a felony or misdemeanor conviction is expunged, a prospective employer is barred from using it against you in hiring decisions...or even asking you about it in the interview, for that matter.

     * * * * *

Q. After my record is expunged, can I answer "No" if I'm asked whether I have a criminal record?

A. Yes.this is one of the benefits of obtaining a California expungement. If the court grants your expungement, you can legally answer "no" if you are asked whether you have a criminal record. There are, however, three exceptions:

   1. if you plan to become a peace officer or run for public office,
   2. if you want to work for the California Lottery commission, or
   3. if you want to apply for state license.

I hope that this helps shed some additional light.

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Brent Marshall's picture

Easton, what is the basis for your statement that Joe served prison time?

Edit: I ask because jail time is not the same as prison time, either legally or in popular connotation.

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Jim's picture

According to online records obtained from the Superior Court of California, Bartosch was arrested and charged with misdemeanor solicitation of a prostitute in 1991. The records indicate he served three days in jail and was later sentenced to three years of probation.

 

Easton's picture

Read the article -- It's right there like Peet said.

And...after re-reading my original comment...

I don't want to be perceived as glorying in the "down-fall" of another fellow Christian.  Too many are doing that now.  I don't want to be one of them.

Bartosch, as President of the BJU Student Body in 1982, was at the table during my final disciplinary hearing before I was officially expelled from BJU.  (I'm sure they've changed the procedure by now.)

My original post was made in haste -- an immature reaction to a 31 year-old memory -- and an event that altered the course of my life.

Even if Joe's record was "expunged", it certainly would have been prudent - not required, but prudent - for Joe B. to reveal to a conservative Christian institution that he had strayed from the straight and narrow.  Certainly, he may not have been hired, but we wouldn't be talking about this now, either, would we?

 

EDIT -- "I ask because jail time is not the same as prison time.." -- I mean jail when I say prison.  And when I say prison, I mean jail.  For example: Jack Schaap is in jail.  He is serving time in prison.  Clear?

Jay's picture

Let me get this right. 

Bartosch is arrested and serves three days jail time some 22 years ago.  His record, for soliciting a prostitute, is subsequently expunged by the courts. 

Because his record is expunged, he writes that he has no criminal background on his application, as he's legally able to do.  He is hired at BJU, puts in a considerable amount of time at the school, and winds up serving as Dean of Distance Education and then becomes Chief Branding Officer.  Some time this year, BJU finds out about the past expunged offense and suspends him indefinitely.  I do absolutely agree with Easton that it would have been prudent to explain the whole affair to the school upon employment or during the interview stages.

So...why should they do that?  Does he have direct interaction with the students?  Does he pose any kind of threat to anyone at the school (other than the school's image)?  Does this offense cost BJU anything or put the school at risk?

I would hazard that the answer to the latter three questions above are No, No, and No.  So why do this? Why send a press release out on it?

This whole story brings Psalm 103 to mind:

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Unless there's more to this story (which there might be), it doesn't seem to be very compassionate or wise by the school to make a big deal of it.  This is something that could (should!) have been handled internally and discreetly, in my opinion. 

"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

Easton's picture

In California...

"Once a conviction is expunged, it becomes an arrest that did not end in conviction. Legally, you may answer "No" to these types of questions when applying with a private employer. Keep in mind, though, that background checks typically go back 10 years, and employers can see that you had a conviction dismissed. Answering "No" may look dishonest. A better response may be "Yes, expungement granted." When applying for government employment, you must disclose the conviction and expungement.

Like I said, "prudent."

Of course, there may have been full disclosure - we don't know.

Right now none of us are better than the members of the Blue Haired Bloody Mary Club sitting around the bridge table gossiping on a Saturday afternoon...

 

(Source: Sacramento County Law Library)

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Brent posted some solid factual info about how these things work.

Given how quick people are to cry "cover up" these days--espec. where BJU (or any "IFB" ministry) is involved--it seems like a no-brainer to me to issue a press release as they did.

About "jail" vs. "prison," it's true that many (most?) make no distinction, but the difference matters. Though sentenced offenders sometimes do "jail time," not all who do "jail time" have been convicted and sentenced, as I understand it. Jail is often a parking place while the legal process runs its course.

Easton's picture

So, that's how we're going to talk about this?

Parsing the meaning of "jail time" vs. "prison time?"

Really?

James K's picture

Easton, everything gets parsed here.  Get used to it.  For fundamentalists, I find it odd.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

TylerR's picture

Editor

It was 20 years ago. He served his time. Forgiveness? I also run a small business, and employ a convicted bank robber to do admin work. I don't care about his past history. We have laughed together as I, the former police officer, listen to him describe how he plotted the bank robbery. It's in the past. I don't hold it against him. 

I don't know the guy. Maybe he's slimy. Maybe he's not. He did appear to have been punished once already, however. 

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?

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Easton wrote:

So, that's how we're going to talk about this?

Parsing the meaning of "jail time" vs. "prison time?"

Really?

If you are going to bring it up then it is incumbent upon Christians to deal with that element accurately. You have a problem with that, really?

Easton's picture

TylerR wrote:
 

He did appear to have been punished once already, however. 

From the WSPA text -- "The records indicate he served three days in jail and was later sentenced to three years of probation."

"Punished?"  You can't be serious.

It was only "jail", Tyler -- not like it was prison or anything.

More like a 3-day vacation from work and all the other responsibilities of life while the legal process ran its course.  We all should be so lucky.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Easton:

Let's have some perspective about sentencing here. This is a very minor offense. The criminal justice system wouldn't work if everybody was incarcerated. I know - I used to arrest people!

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?

Jonathan Charles's picture

What does one disclose to a Christian employer about past sexual sin?  Does one disclose a past struggle with sexual purity that never led to adultery?  Does one disclose a past stuggle with sexual purity that did lead to adultery, but that took place nearly a quarter-of-a-century ago?  Does one have to spend the rest of his or her life bringing up an old sin that has long ago been forgiven.  If one must do this with past sexual sin, then what other sins should one also have to do this with?   

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

What got us on the whole jail vs prison rabbit trail was the suggestion in 53733 that Bartosch had been sentenced to prison and that BJU didn't know this because they didn't bother to do a background check. But Brent quite helpfully pointed out that there wasn't a prison sentence and the brief jail stay didn't become permanent record (or so I understood the legalease). So it's far from clear this would have turned up in a normal background check. The "parsing" was not at all random.... or aimed at minimizing the offense either. It has to do with why his past may have gone undetected.

Some are not sure something that far back should matter anyway. But the news item indicates BJU claims they were not informed of his history when he was hired. I'm pretty sure you'd have to do a bit of fudging in the application process to manage that.

(By the way, it's not about "past sexual sin," it's about a criminal history not reported--and one that involves public sexual sin. Both the NT and common sense draw some boundaries between what happens inwardly and what people do in front of others (e.g. 1 Cor. 5:1-2. So let's not confuse issues here.)

Not news: sometimes organizations do everything they should do and bad things still happen, and you just have to deal with it as best you can... but it's messy no matter how you handle it.

Jim's picture

TylerR wrote:

Easton:

Let's have some perspective about sentencing here. This is a very minor offense. The criminal justice system wouldn't work if everybody was incarcerated. I know - I used to arrest people!

  • It's very serious thing for a man of God (or one who claims to be) to try to buy a woman for sex. What does this say about his view (at that time) about women!
  • Additionally it is doubtful that he was caught on his 1st attempt (to solicit)

Bob Jones U is in a difficult position here. I think they have a right to expect employees to be free from this type of past.

 

TylerR's picture

Editor

I'm not talking about the morality of the offense. I was referring to Easton's comment that he received insufficient punishment.

From a PR and moral standpoint - I understand why BJU got rid of him, I just don't like it. (BTW - lets not pretend PR had nothing to do with it!). You can't really attract a lot of students when you keep a guy with a moral indiscretion like this. 

 

 

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?

Greg Linscott's picture

Given how quick people are to cry "cover up" these days--espec. where BJU (or any "IFB" ministry) is involved--it seems like a no-brainer to me to issue a press release as they did.

I don't know about that, considering that it was in the distant past, and that it didn't happen under his tenure at BJU.

I mean, what if they had found out- I don't know- that he had subscribed to a pornographic magazine 20 years ago, or viewed an inappropriate PPV movie in his hotel room? I know it's not the same thing (not criminal), but there are things you don't necessarily need to air out publicly like this. Jim notes that a credit record check can still have consequences years later. Sure, the bank may turn you down for a loan. But they don't issue a press release publicizing your bad credit.

There may be more to the story- but if this is all there is, and the sinful behavior and consequences suffered in question are 22 years in his past, to me it seems further airing this incident publicly is harsh and unnecessary. If BJU believes there is a need to terminate, so be it. But further humiliation? Does this man have a family? How would this press release action affect his children? I don't know if he would have any, but the timeline would make that a distinct possibility.

What is to be gained?

 

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Jay's picture

There may be more to the story- but if this is all there is, and the sinful behavior and consequences suffered in question are 22 years in his past, to me it seems further airing this incident publicly is harsh and unnecessary. If BJU believes there is a need to terminate, so be it. But further humiliation? Does this man have a family? How would this press release action affect his children? I don't know if he would have any, but the timeline would make that a distinct possibility.

What is to be gained?

I agree with Greg.  Whatever happened 22 years ago was exactly that...22 years ago.  It's ancient history, and has no bearing on the duties of a Chief Branding Officer.  If he'd been caught soliciting prostitutes this year, or even five years ago, that's one thing.  But 22 years? 

They just had Bible Conference, right?  If this guy was convicted in his soul about not reporting it and decided he wanted to come clean during the Conference, then why put him through the wringer like this?  If not - is this really the right way to handle a man who broke the law, but legally did the right thing and who may have been too ashamed / embarrassed to say otherwise to his employer, especially considering the offense committed?

BJU would not be (legally) wrong to terminate him...they're totally within their right to fire anyone at any time, including Stephen Jones.  I just don't see what the purpose of running this man's name through the press for a misdemeanor from 22 years ago does.  If the staff at BJU honestly think that this is going to somehow buy them credibility with the 'Do Right' groups or the secular press, then I've got bridges in Brooklyn and San Francisco to sell them.

Some are not sure something that far back should matter anyway. But the news item indicates BJU claims they were not informed of his history when he was hired. I'm pretty sure you'd have to do a bit of fudging in the application process to manage that.

No, you don't have to 'fudge'.  The law says that you can legally and honestly answer a question about your criminal record with 'I have no past offenses' (or whatever the statue said).  The applications asks if you have been convicted of a felony.  Legalese aside - no, he hadn't.  He'd been indicted and charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony.  Furthermore, that misdemeanor had been expunged.

This move makes no sense by the University.

"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

As a military police officer, I routinely offered this bit of advice to young servicemembers getting kicked out of the military who were awarded non-judicial punishment or summary courts-martial, not special or general courts-martial:

"Never admit to being convicted of a crime. Non-judicial punishment and summary courts martial are administrative functions that do not meet the civilian criteria for judicial conviction. You WERE NOT convicted of a crime. Don't torpedo your chances of starting fresh. You are not lying."

It would usually go something like that, and I was perfectly within my rights to give them this information. I wouldn't bother if the Sailor was an obvious loser who didn't care. I would bother with the kids who made stupid mistakes and wish they could take it back. I did, however, always told them to never lie if asked about anything during an interview.

This is the very same thing. The guy's record was expunged. There was no criminal record. What is the point of all this? Again, I understand BJU's position, but I don't like it and I wouldn't have made the same call.  

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?

Don Johnson's picture

If you will check the WSPA article that starts this thread, the statement by BJU was issued before Bible Conference started.

It is highly unlikely that BJU spokesman simply offered the press release on their own initiative. Most likely some reporter got wind of it and was asking questions. The BJU folks would have to respond, given the nature of the situation.

Read the article carefully.

In this thread, there is the usual rush to pontificate without due consideration of all that has been released.

It's a terrible situation for everyone involved. But really, what is gained by a bunch of onlookers speculating about it?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Easton's picture

"Let's have some perspective about sentencing here. This is a very minor offense." ~ TylerR

Tyler - My comment was loaded with sarcasm that doesn't translate well.  I should've used the html code [sarcasm][/sarcasm].  I was making fun of "jail" time vs. "prison" time.  Both are bad.

As far as offenses go, solicitation is a minor offense & frankly, it surprised me that there was a mention of jail time along with probation - not usually the case.

On my BJU student application, there was a whole series of questions regarding alcohol use, tobacco use, drug use, criminal offenses, etc.  There were other questions (re: morality & behavior), but I can't remember what they were.  If BJU asks this of potential or re-enrolling students, why would they not ask this of new Administrators or Officers?  Especially one whose job is to create a new BJU "brand"?

Understand that while a student at BJU, Bartosch was extremely popular and was associated with other names that you may recognize - Kaminski, VanGelderen, Conley, Weniger - to name a few.  This may have factored in to BJU's first mistake - hiring Bartosch.

But, once hired, BJU has now been forced into making a second mistake - suspending the guy.  Of course, with an on-going GRACE investigation and the internet burning up with sexual abuse allegations, the recent Chris Peterman episode and, don't forget the Chuck Phelps fiasco, BJU really has no choice.

Greg Long's picture

Easton, if you get arrested for a crime you did not commit (which of course is NOT the case in this situation) and sit in jail while awaiting your trial before being acquitted, would you be so quick to dismiss the difference between "jail" time and "prison" time?

Near (< 10 miles) our church is the Polk County Jail. This is not the same thing as a penitentiary (prison).

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jim's picture

Jail / Prison / Incarceration (overlap): Definitions:

  • Jail: "a place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody; specifically : such a place under the jurisdiction of a local government (as a county) for the confinement of persons awaiting trial or those convicted of minor crimes — compare prison'
  • Prison: "(2) a place of confinement especially for lawbreakers; specifically : an institution (as one under state jurisdiction) for confinement of persons convicted of serious crimes — compare jail"
  • Incarceration: "[the verb] (1) to put in prison. (2) to subject to confinement"

My take ... he was incarcerated .... in a jail for 3 days. 

(I had my own mixup with the law where I was briefly arrested and detained). I can tell you it is no fun!

--- 

I noticed that the guy has been suspended. If he is repentant and has lived an exemplary life with no repeat of this kind of infraction, I would hope he would be reinstated by BJU. It was 21-22 years ago. 

Greg Linscott's picture

But really, what is gained by a bunch of onlookers speculating about it?

1. The release was given to be dispensed by the press to the public.

2. Comments like those in this thread reflect public response, which is at least in theory accessible to those who made the news public (something that isn't true of "idle chatter").

3. As it stands currently, at least as far as I'm concerned, BJU looks bad by announcing what they did when it is not evident why they would do so.

 

Further humiliation did not need to accompany their action. If they were responding to an inquiry, they should say that. If they are doing so because GRACE suggested they do so, they should make that known, too. The current situation just makes them appear spiteful and vindictive. I would like to believe that they are not. They can still clarify that for the public.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Don Johnson's picture

The OP refers to a WSPA article. Have you seen the news release? I don't see any reference to it anywhere in this thread. You see a few quotes from whatever was released, but not the whole thing. You are making assumptions based on a news article, not the press release itself.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Jim's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

The OP refers to a WSPA article. Have you seen the news release? I don't see any reference to it anywhere in this thread. You see a few quotes from whatever was released, but not the whole thing. You are making assumptions based on a news article, not the press release itself.

 

So where is the press release? I searched the BJU site and couldn't find it. Plus NULL links to Bartosch.

 

 

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