The sexual abuse lawsuit against retired Texas Judge Paul Pressler, who has strong ties to several Southern Baptist Convention past and current leaders, has reportedly been settled with a confidential agreement between the parties involved.
Pressler was an instrumental figure in the orchestrated effort known as the conservative resurgence by some and as the fundamentalist takeover by others of the SBC from the 1970s through the early 1990s.
In addition to Pressler, the SBC, First Baptist Church Houston and SBC Executive Committee were named as defendants in the case.
The suit, filed by Pressler’s former assistant Gareld Duane Rollins Jr., accused Pressler of molesting Rollins during his teenage years, with allegations of knowledge and cover-up by SBC leaders. Pressler and SBC leaders have consistently denied any wrongdoing.
“The Southern Baptist Convention and its Executive Committee were each fully prepared to proceed to trial,” according to a statement released by special counsel to the SBC and SBC EC.
“However, several factors ultimately made settlement the more prudent choice. Chief among those factors was the horrendous nature of the abuse allegations, the likelihood that counsel for the SBC and Executive Committee would have to confront and cross-examine abuse survivors, the Executive Committee’s current financial condition, and the willingness of multiple insurance carriers to contribute to the terms of the settlement.”
No specifics of the settlement, which was first reported by the Texas Tribune, were made public. B&R