Queen pleads not guilty in charges related to document, notebook

NEW YORK (BP) – Former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) interim provost Matt Queen issued a statement through his attorney Wednesday (May 22) asserting his innocence of federal charges brought through a Department of Justice investigation.

Queen issued his statement to Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., where he had served as pastor since February after having most recently been an evangelism professor at SWBTS.

“I fully cooperated with this investigation and have pleaded not guilty to the charge against me,” he said. “As a Christian, a (former) seminary professor, and now a pastor, my integrity is everything to me and I will cling to that integrity and seek to be vindicated by God and man. Until that day, I do not intend to comment or discuss this matter further. I covet your prayers for me and my family. Thank you.”

Queen had served as an associate pastor at Friendly Avenue before accepting a role at SWBTS in 2010.

He was charged earlier this week with withholding from federal investigators his knowledge of a document about an allegation of sexual abuse connected to SWBTS. Furthermore, investigators said, Queen knowingly provided false information in the form of a notebook.

In his statement, Queen said he was interviewed about his recollection of “a conversation of interest to investigators” at which he was present. In a separate statement released Wednesday, his attorney said the meeting had been scheduled to discuss a matter separate from the document about the allegation.

“Dr. Queen has never seen the contents of the document and became aware of the general nature of the contents of the letter, i.e., about the rape accusation, at a later time,” said attorney Sam A Schmidt.

That later time was when charges were filed against his client, Schmidt clarified, adding a defense of the notebook provided by Queen to investigators.

“The notes prepared by Dr. Queen cited in the accusation were true to his best recollection and did not contain false information,” he said. “Dr. Queen testified truthfully before the Grand Jury.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Scott Barkley is national correspondent for Baptist Press.)

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