Jane Roe Sues Former Baptist Seminary President For Alleged Rape Cover-Up And Trying To ‘Break Her Down’

(Youtube screenshot/Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Jane Roe sues the former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for covering up her allegations of rape against John Doe.
  • The lawsuit reveals that former President Paige Patterson wanted a private interview with Roe in which he planned to “break her down.”
  • SWBTS terminated Patterson in May, but sources allege that Patterson still possesses documents hiding student rapes from his previous presidency at the Southeastern Seminary .

Plaintiff Jane Roe filed a suit against the former president of a Baptist Seminary claiming that he covered up her alleged rape and sought to “break her down.”

Jane Roe was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, who reported “multiple violent sexual assaults” by a fellow student who was also an employee at the seminary.

Defendant Leighton Paige Patterson was President of SWBTS at the time and reportedly sought to prevent Roe’s accusations from coming to light, according to the suit.

Email records included in the lawsuit reveal that Patterson asked campus security at the seminary if he could privately meet with Roe so he could “break her down.” (RELATED: The Fall Of Paige Patterson Part Three: Hell Hath No Fury …)

SWBTS Chief of Campus Security wrote in an email to Patterson that he would like to be present when Patterson interviewed Roe.

Patterson replied in an email, “We will see. I have to break her down and may need no official types there but let me see.”

Patterson and his wife Dorothy Patterson have shown a pattern of taking documents that contain allegations of rape, a source close to the matter told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Patterson previously served as president of Southeastern Seminary. The source told the DCNF that when Patterson left the seminary in 2003 and went to SWBTS in Forth Worth, Texas, Patterson took documents that pertained to a student rape.

Seminary student-employee John Doe repeatedly and violently raped, stalked and sexually harassed Roe in 2015, threatened he would commit suicide if she would not acquiesce to his requests, and threatened both her and her family according to the lawsuit. Doe kept an arsenal of guns in his home and told Roe that he frequented strip clubs and bars throughout his time at the religious institution.

SWBTS made no effort to protect Roe or her family after Roe reported John Doe’s crimes to the police, according to the lawsuit, and Patterson instead engaged in several moves that endangered Roe such as revealing to Doe that she had filed a complaint against him.

Roe’s suit alleges that this is not unusual and that SWBTS customarily ignores “female student’s complaints of sexual harassment and stalking behavior by male student employees.” The lawsuit charges Patterson and SWBTS with gross negligence and exemplary damages.

SWBTS terminated Patterson’s presidency May 30. Patterson was formerly one of the most important leaders in the largest Protestant denomination in the United States – the Southern Baptist Convention, according to the suit. Patterson and his wife led the “Conservative Resurgence” among United States Protestants and pushed the importance of the role of women and the role of women in the family.

Benjamin Cole of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma, presented a motion on June 11 requesting that SWBTS trustees authorize the recovery of seminary property taken from the SWBTS home or campus facilities between the dates of May 30, 2018, and February 27, 2019 the time period during which Patterson left SWBTS.

Cole told the DCNF that he has “absolute confidence” in the new administration at Southwestern.

“Dr. Adam Greenway has already proven himself to be an honorable leader who reflects Southern Baptists’ commitment to personal integrity and fiscal responsibility,” Cole said.

“If the Pattersons or their accomplices have taken unauthorized possession of seminary records that relate to this case, it will be imperative for the seminary’s attorneys to pursue their recovery.”

Cole added that his motion was intended to spur the seminary to take “strong, immediate action” to protect SWBTS, adding that if the Pattersons retain confidential student and employee records the school would be vulnerable.

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