A former student at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has filed a lawsuit against Paige Patterson, the former Southern Baptist Convention president, accusing him of intimidating and humiliating her after she reported multiple rapes to him.
The woman, who is listed as “Jane Roe” in the lawsuit, said that Patterson shamed her and ignored her after she told him about how she was stalked and raped at gunpoint by a male seminary student in 2014 and 2015.
Roe enrolled at the seminary in 2014 and met her alleged assailant soon after that. He had access to the building Roe lived in because he also worked as a plumber for the seminary. The man, identified as John Doe, allegedly started stalking her and said he would kill himself if she wouldn’t date him.
The suit claims that Doe eventually began bragging about his history of sex, drugs, alcohol and violent behavior to Roe.
In October 2014, Roe said she woke up to Doe sexually assaulting her and having a gun with him. He threatened her with a murder-suicide the next day and would frequently load guns in front of her during the next few months.
The suit adds that he pulled out her hair and nearly strangled her on other occasions.
When Roe went to Patterson about the rape in August 2015, he told her that he was too busy to deal with her rape claim and said that he wouldn’t have reported it to the police if the rape had been reported to him off-campus.
The police eventually searched Doe’s room and found nine firearms in there. He was expelled from the seminary. Roe, however, didn’t press criminal charges against him because she was afraid of him.
According to the lawsuit, Patterson threatened Roe’s family and asked her if her attacker ejaculated during the rapes.
“Patterson seemed to enjoy making Roe even more uncomfortable with his questions” and “callously rejected” her requests for prayers or help with medical expenses, the suit says.
The lawsuit also alleges that Patterson told Roe that rape was a good thing because the right man wouldn’t care if she was a virgin or not and disclosed the rapes to seminary faculty without her permission.