Patterson, SWBTS, Roe attorneys argue before 5th Circuit panel

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – Approximately a calendar year soon after its authentic dismissal, the deserves of a lawsuit against Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Paige Patterson, its former president, were being argued before a 3-choose appeals courtroom panel April 3.

Plaintiff “Jane Roe” filed accommodate versus Patterson and the seminary in 2019, professing negligence, violation of privacy and defamation. She alleges she was sexually assaulted at gunpoint on at least 3 events in late 2014-early 2015 by “John Doe,” a student with a prison history, who was also used as a plumber by the faculty.

Statements towards each functions had been dismissed April 6 of final calendar year by the U.S. District Courtroom for the Jap District of Texas, but Roe appealed. Ultimately, she seeks a jury trial on the points of the situation. Due to the sensitive nature of her allegations, many of the case’s documents have been sealed.

In Wednesday’s listening to, Roe’s attorney, Sheila Haddock, focused her argument on two of her client’s statements – a defamation declare towards Patterson and a negligence declare towards SWBTS.

The defamation allegation arrives from statements produced in defense of Patterson right after Roe’s sexual assault promises arrived to gentle. Patterson’s handling of the incident was a single of the challenges regarded as by SWBTS trustees prior to his termination in 2018. In the weeks adhering to Patterson’s departure, his supporters launched and distributed details making an attempt to demonstrate and/or defend his actions.

Roe maintains that some of the statements in those paperwork – that Roe created false statements, that she experienced consensual sexual intercourse outdoors of relationship, and so on. – are defamatory towards her.

In courtroom, Haddock argued that some of the documents’ authors, which include Sharaya Colter, spouse of longtime Patterson aide Scott Colter, have been performing as “agents” of Patterson in producing and disseminating the articles.

In his rebuttal, Patterson’s legal professional, Travis Jones, mentioned there was no proof that Patterson authorized any get-togethers to make public statements on his behalf and even further that most of the assertions in the paperwork do not constitute “defamation for each se.”

“The document evidence is that there’s no proof tying Dr. Patterson to any of these alleged defamatory statements,” Jones claimed. “Nothing occurred within the scope of the agency romantic relationship.”

With regard to the carelessness cost versus the seminary, SWBTS lawyer Brian Rutherford explained none of the evidence submitted shows that seminary officers could have foreseen that Doe would dedicate sexual assault towards Roe. He also argued that the college followed its normal admission and selecting strategies with regard to Doe.

Ultimately, Rutherford mentioned, due to the fact Patterson’s employment at SWBTS had finished prior to the dissemination of the alleged defamatory material, his consumer, the seminary, should be dismissed from all those statements.

In her closing arguments, Haddock urged the judges to make it possible for the circumstance to progress to demo.

“There are disputed reality concerns even in just the testimony that was provided in help of a defendant’s motions for summary judgment,” she mentioned. “And this court has instructed us that in scenarios like that, summary judgment is basically not appropriate.”

(EDITOR’S Notice – Laura Erlanson is managing editor of Baptist Push.)

The submit Patterson, SWBTS, Roe lawyers argue just before 5th Circuit panel appeared 1st on Biblical Recorder.