A woman is suing a well-known Southern Baptist leader who previously headed a Texas seminary over allegations he told her being raped by a fellow student was a “good thing,” according to court documents cited in local media reports. The lawsuit, which was filed in March but unsealed this week, alleges that Paige Patterson, the former president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, mishandled rape allegations and humiliated the woman when she sought help from the school, causing lasting emotional damage.
The woman, a former student at the seminary named only as “Jane Roe” in court documents, went to Patterson in 2015 to report that a male student had stalked and repeatedly raped her, court documents show. Patterson allegedly responded by saying it was a “good thing” she’d been raped, since the right man wouldn’t mind if she wasn’t a virgin, and that he was “too busy” to deal with her report. Ahead of a later meeting with “Roe,” Patterson emailed a security staffer to say, “I have to break her down,” and then accused her of lying about the assaults in the meeting, according to the lawsuit. Patterson was reportedly fired from the seminary last year over his handling of a separate sexual abuse claim at another school.