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Paige Patterson

Defamation Suit Against Paige Patterson Dismissed With Prejudice

Last week, we reported that the negligence charges against Paige Patterson were dismissed with prejudice. This week, the defamation charges were dismissed. Paige Patterson was the former President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a hero of the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. Being one of the oldest figures of that movement placed a target on his back by feminists who successfully ousted him for not counseling divorce in a case that wasn’t adultery and alleged mishandling of sex abuse.

The alleged mishandling was adjudicated in court last week when the judge tossed the negligence charged in a summary judgement. In the ruling it was shown that Paige Patterson reported an alleged sexual assault when an adult women did not. Per the judgement:

For the foregoing reasons, it is ORDERED that Defendant Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Objections to Plaintiff’s Defamation Summary Judgment Evidence and Motion to Strike, (Dkt. #317), are OVERRULED as moot, that Defendant Leighton Paige Patterson’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Defamation, (Dkt. #241), is GRANTED, and that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment Regarding Plaintiff’s Defamation Claim, (Dkt. #259), is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that Plaintiff Jane Roe’s defamation claims against Defendant Leighton Paige Patterson and Defendant Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary are DISMISSED with prejudice.

This is yet another stunning victory for Paige Patterson. Consider how this trial was being reported on a few months ago by the liberal Baptist News Global:

Patterson’s mishandling of this case — he reportedly told other seminary officials he needed to “break her down” to silence her — led to Patterson’s dismissal by seminary trustees in 2018. Patterson also had been accused of mishandling sexual abuse claims at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina, where he previously served as president.

Although the legal case was filed on March 12, 2019, it has faced a series of delays due to what Roe alleges were obfuscations by the seminary and its attorneys as well as Patterson and his attorneys. The Southern Baptist school is in the odd position of defending itself in tandem with the president trustees fired, at least in part, over the same issues presented in the case. Both the seminary as an institution and Patterson as an individual are named defendants in the case.

Both Patterson and Southwestern made previous attempts to get the case dismissed and failed. Now it is two months away from being heard by a Texas jury in what is sure to be one of the most closely watched trials related to sexual abuse in Protestant church life.

BNG was confident that the jury trail which at one point was scheduled to be currently underway has suddenly been dismissed with prejudice. At most, it can be appealed.

It seems as though these are the last of the remaining charges in the case have been dismissed. Note: we previously reported the charges in the initial filing which appear to have been updated. They did not include defamation, nor were the remaining charges they did include in this summary judgement.

This case is among the lawsuits being tracked in Evangelical Dark Web’s lawsuit tracker.

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