A woman is suing former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson, claiming he failed to protect her after she came to him with reports of being raped multiple times by another student, according to Dallas News.
The lawsuit, filed in March, seeks unspecified damages from Fort Worth Seminary as well, claiming that the woman has suffered emotional and physical pain as a result of the assaults and Patterson’s response. Patterson’s attorney has previously said that the woman made several contradictory statements to authorities and seminary officials regarding her assaults.
The woman, who goes by the pseudonym Jane Roe, says that her attacker was working as a plumber on campus and began relentlessly pursuing her romantically despite her multiple rejections. In October 2014, Roe awoke from napping in a lawn chair to the man sexually assaulting her. Because of his threats and his physical abuse, Roe told no one of the multiple rapes in the weeks and months that followed.
Roe eventually told her family of the assaults and reported them to Patterson in August 2015. In an August 20 meeting, Roe claims that Patterson told her it was a “good thing” she had been raped, and that he was “too busy” to deal with her reports of assault.
Patterson contacted Fort Worth police, and seminary officials found multiple weapons in the man’s possession, causing his expulsion from the seminary. In a meeting with Roe’s mother in October 2015, Patterson reacted aggressively to Roe’s mother’s question of why Roe had never received an apology. Patterson "lunged across the table, firmly pointed his finger in her face and threatened to 'unleash' lawyers on her if she dared question his leadership," the lawsuit says.
Patterson later became the center of controversy in May 2018 when a recording of him from 2000 resurfaced online. In it, Patterson says his advice for abused women is to continue being submissive to their husbands in any way they can and “elevate” them. Weeks later, the seminary fired Patterson as president over remarks about women over the years.