Leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention on Sunday released a major third-party investigation that found that sex abuse survivors were often ignored, minimized and “even vilified” by top clergy in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
Evidence in the report suggests leaders also lied to Southern Baptists over whether they could maintain a database of offenders to prevent more abuse when top leaders were secretly keeping a private list for years.
Many of the cases referred to in the report were considered outside the statute of limitations, the time survivors can report sex abuse, so it’s unclear how many abusers were criminally charged.
The report states that Hunt, in an interview with investigators, denied any physical contact with the woman but acknowledged that he had interactions with her.
What the report reveals is that leaders maintained a list of offenders while keeping it a secret to avoid the possibility of getting sued.
That same year, after a Southern Baptist pastor made a motion for a database, Boto rejected the idea.
“People will say, ‘This is not all Southern Baptists, look at all the good we do.’ The report demonstrates a pattern of stonewalling, coverup, intimidation and retaliation.”. »