Sarah Pulliam Bailey of The Washington Post has broken yet another story about the controversial Southern Baptist seminary president Paige Patterson. It this latest allegation is true, and it does not lead to his immediate resignation or firing, I don’t know what will. Get up to speed on Patterson’s other controversial statements about women here.
Here is a taste of Bailey’s piece:
A prominent Southern Baptist leader at the center of controversy this spring over comments he has made about abused women allegedly encouraged a woman who said she had been raped not to report it to the police and told her to forgive her alleged assailant, the woman has told The Washington Post.
The woman said that she was raped in 2003 when she was pursuing a master of divinity degree in women’s studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., where Paige Patterson was president at the time.
“I had bottled it up,” said the woman, who works in public relations in North Carolina. “My husband didn’t know about it until last week. … I told him ‘I need to do something.’ ”
A man who a seminary official confirmed was the alleged assailant’s roommate at the time of the incident said that the woman told him about the assault shortly after it allegedly happened. The woman also provided an email to The Washington Post from the seminary’s dean of students at the time referencing the alleged incident….
She said she had been dating the man she alleges raped her and had allowed him into her apartment the night she said he assaulted her. The two were kissing when he forced himself on her, she said. She said she reported it the next morning to the administrator who handled student discipline. That administrator then reported the incident to Patterson, she said, and she was required to meet with Patterson and three or four male seminarians she said were proteges of Patterson’s. She said she doesn’t remember the specific words Patterson used but that he wanted to know every detail of the rape.
Patterson and other administrators did not report the incident to the police, and she claims that Patterson encouraged her not to, as well, she said. The Post confirmed that a report was never filed with the Wake Forest Police Department.
The woman said she was put on probation for two years, but she doesn’t know why, saying it was perhaps because she was with another man alone in her apartment, which was against seminary policy.
“They shamed the crap out of me, asking me question after question,” said the woman, who attended the seminary until 2005 before dropping out for reasons she said were unrelated to the alleged incident. “He didn’t necessarily say it was my fault, but [the sense from him was] I let him into my home.”
The woman said she recalls Patterson telling her to forgive the man who allegedly raped her. The former roommate said the woman described the alleged assault to him shortly after it happened and later complained to him about her treatment by Patterson and seminary officials.
Read the rest here.