January 26, 2018
By Leonardo Blair
The Southern Baptist Convention has been added as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that former Texas state judge and lawmaker Paul Pressler sexually abused a former Bible study student he hired as a home office assistant for decades, starting when he was just 14 years old.
The 15-million member organization was added to the lawsuit on Jan. 12 after it was initially filed in a Texas court on Oct. 18, according to the Tennessean.
Gareld D. Rollins Jr., the plaintiff who is now in his 50s, accuses the SBC and seven other defendants, including Pressler and his wife, Nancy, of fraudulently misrepresenting to the public “that Pressler was a Godlike, sexually safe, moral, and great person of the earth who, as a magistrate, worked God’s wisdom and thus would not be sexually dangerous to minors.”
The lawsuit also names the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, its president, Paige Patterson, and Houston’s First Baptist Church as defendants, alleging they are liable for their professional, personal or denominational connections with Pressler.
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