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Southern Baptist Church Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Southern Baptist Church Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

In the last 20 years, nearly 400 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers were accused or convicted of sexual abuse, molestation, rape or impregnation by over 700 victims. More of the sex offenders are from Texas than any other state.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting sexual abuse induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been sexually abused by a person at the Southern Baptist Church, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Sex Abuse Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

UPDATE: Pastor Pays $450,000 Settlement for Sexual Assault

In 2017, a lawsuit was filed against Paul Pressler, former vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, by a man who said Pressler raped him 2-3 times a month. In 2004, Pressler paid the man a $450,000 settlement for physical assault. Two other men have also accused Pressler of sexually molesting them or soliciting them for sex.

Convicted Child Molester Re-Hired at Southern Baptist Church in Florida

Darrell Gilyard, a convicted child molester who served 3 years in prison for child molestation, was re-hired and allowed to return to the pulpit at Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. He also admitted to impregnating a woman who said he raped her during a counseling session.

What is the problem?

Since 1998, over 700 victims of sexual abuse have accused 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and workers of everything from exposure to pornography to the rape and impregnation of teenagers, according to an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.

Who Are the Victims?

Some of the victims were as young as 3 years old when they were raped in Sunday school classrooms or the pastors’ studies. Many victims were teenagers who were molested, raped repeatedly, photographed nude, or exposed to pornography and sent explicit texts.

Sex Offenders Allowed to Continue Working in SBC Churches

At least 220 sexual offenders have been convicted, including nearly 100 who are in prison, but dozens of cases are still pending — and several of the accused are still working in SBC churches. Pastors Leslie Mason, Michael Lee Jones and Joseph S. Ratliff all continued to work within the SBC church after being accused of sexual misconduct.

SBC Church Does Not Keep Track of Sex Offenders

The SBC church has no central database to track sex abuse convictions or allegations. Investigators found that several registered sex offenders returned to the pulpit after being convicted.

“At least 10 SBC churches welcomed pastors, ministers and volunteers since 1998 who had previously faced charges of sexual misconduct. In some cases, they were registered sex offenders.”

The SBC church rules do not expressly ban convicted sex offenders from working, but strictly bans gay men and female pastors, and Southern Baptists view homosexuality as a sin.

Texas Pastor Admits to Impregnating Teenager

Dale “Dickie” Amyx, who was still listed as a pastor at the Bolivar Baptist Church in Texas as of February 2019, was accused of sexually molesting Debbie Vasquez since she was 14 and admitting to impregnating her when she was 18 and he was a married 28 year-old.

The church never fired him, reported him to the police, or even stopped him from leading congregations. Instead, he continued to rise through the ranks of the church and also worked at a high school in Arizona — where Amyx allegedly continued to sexually exploit girls.

Do I have a Southern Baptist Church Sex Abuse Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting sexual abuse induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been sexually abused by a person at the Southern Baptist Church, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Sex Abuse Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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