By Will Hall, Baptist Message executive editor
PLANO, Texas (LBM) – U.S. District Judge Sean Jordan has dismissed claims related to a lawsuit against Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and its former president, Paige Patterson.
Jordan’s judgment against the allegations of negligence (regarding protection of the plaintiff) and defamation (based on statements by others, not Patterson) relating to a sexual assault on campus was issued “with prejudice,” meaning that the plaintiff, “Jane Roe,” cannot refile the claims, although she is able to appeal the ruling.
Jordan rejected portions of Roe’s evidence as “opinion” and “irrelevant,” noting “Patterson and SWBTS immediately notified local law enforcement authorities of Roe’s outcry,” and “Roe declined to pursue charges against Doe.”
Patterson was fired by SWBTS trustees in 2018 after “a series of media reports alleging that Patterson had committed various misdeeds while at SWBTS and his former institution, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (“SEBTS”), as well as a petition signed by thousands of Southern Baptist women criticizing Patterson for his past conduct,” according to court documents.