Court Vindicates Dr. Paige Patterson’s Handling of Alleged Rape Case

In 2018, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) Board of Trustees fired Dr. Paige Patterson, who was then serving as president of the seminary.

The charges against Dr. Patterson significantly included the mishandling of two alleged abuse and rape charges by one female student in 2003 and one in 2015.[1] The latter happened at SWBTS when Dr. Patterson was president.

Jane Roe sued Dr. Patterson and SWBTS for their alleged mishandling of her alleged rape. The case was tried in The United States District Court of Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division. The Court said, “Jane Roe alleges that, while she was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (“SWBTS”), she was repeatedly subjected to violent sexual assaults perpetrated by another SWBTS student, John Doe. Roe has sued SWBTS and its former president, Leighton Paige Patterson, asserting, among other claims, that SWBTS’s and Patterson’s negligence and gross negligence led to the sexual assaults she suffered.”[2]

However, the Court repeatedly found Roe’s claims to be without evidence. Throughout the Court document, the following phrases describe Roe’s claims, “devoid of any evidence,” “inadmissible,” “Roe cannot point to any evidence upon which a reasonable juror could find,” “does not support the conclusion that Patterson was involved in Doe’s application,”  “is a gross distortion of the evidence before the Court“ based on this record, the Court concludes that Roe has not pointed to any evidence that could allow a factfinder to conclude that the aforementioned students’ concerns were made known to Patterson before Roe was assaulted.” You get the idea. Roe made charges that not only lacked evidential support; they were actually contrary to the evidence.

The transcript is clear that Roe did not prove her allegations and, therefore, had a bad day in court. When Dr. Patterson was allowed to present his side, in contrast to what the SWBTS trustees permitted him to fully do, he had an extraordinary day of vindication.

You can read the full Roe v Patterson dismissal of the court here.

For those that do not want to read the forty-page court document, here are three quotes where the Court ruled against Roe and in favor of Patterson:

The Court said, “And Roe’s assertion that women who tried to report sexual harassment and sexual abuse were ignored, dismissed or disciplined themselves is a gross distortion of the evidence before the Court.”

“Roe never directly told Patterson or anyone at SWBTS of her concerns that Doe was stalking her. Nor did Roe make any sexual harassment, sexual assault, or any other complaint about Doe prior to August 2015. It is further undisputed that the first time Roe told Patterson and SWBTS that she had been raped by Doe was on August 20, 2015—the date she made her report to the school—months after the sexual assaults allegedly occurred. At that time, Patterson and SWBTS immediately notified local law enforcement authorities of Roe’s outcry, and Roe was interviewed by the Fort Worth Police Department. Roe declined to pursue charges against Doe.”[3]

The Court said, “Finally, the ‘break her down’ email that Roe has repeatedly cited does not demonstrate that Doe’s alleged sexual assaults of Roe were foreseeable to Patterson or SWBTS. The email was sent after the assaults occurred, after Roe had reported them to Patterson and SWBTS, and after Roe, herself decided not to pursue criminal charges against Doe. Thus, the email is irrelevant to the question of what information Defendants were aware of prior to Roe’s alleged victimization.”[4]

So, the Court sees the phrase “break her down” differently than Roe claimed. To wit, it does not signify a failure in his duty. I think the Trustees and others wrongly used the phrase to portray Patterson and his handling of the case in the most negative way possible. Chronologically, the statement was made after “Patterson and SWBTS immediately notified local law enforcement of Roe’s outcry, where Roe was interviewed by the Fort Worth Police Department, and Roe declined to pursue charges against Doe.”

As I understand Dr. Patterson’s use of the phrase, it was in the context of his intent to have another meeting with Roe to encourage her to file charges and corroborate her story. Former Assistant Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies at SWBTS, Candi Finch, was in the meeting. Finch said under oath, “I personally sat in a meeting with Dr. Patterson and this female student and two of her family members,” Finch recalled. “Dr. Patterson opened and closed the meeting with prayer for this young lady. He encouraged her in my presence to press criminal charges against the young man, but she said she wanted to think and pray about it more.”[5] Sharayah Colter, wife of Scott Colter, former Chief of Staff for Dr. Patterson, said, “The accused man admitted to having sexual relations with the woman, but said it was consensual. The man also produced evidence to the police to that effect.”[6] Remember also that in spite of Patterson’s and the police’s best efforts, they could not get Doe to press charges.

Additionally, a point often overlooked is that Patterson immediately expelled the alleged perpetrator from SWBTS once the allegations of assault and possession of weapons were communicated to Patterson.
To read some of the primary documents and blogs that reveal Patterson’s endurance of the firing and false accusations, search Patterson at

[1] You may read primary documents and testimony that tell a different story here, accessed 4/4/23.

[2]  accessed 4/4/23.

[3]  accessed 4/4/23.

[4]  accessed 4/4/23.

[5] accessed 4/4/23.

[6] accessed 4/4/23.

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Ronnie W. Rogers