Was James Richard Harris Listed in SBC Abuse Investigation Report?
James Richard Harris, a pastor at the Second Baptist Church in Belle Glade, Florida, was charged with child sexual abuse in 2009. He was found guilty of two sex acts on a 15-year-old boy he enticed with promises of introductions to football scouts and trainers to help the teen’s chances of becoming an NFL star. Harris was found guilty and sentenced to thirty years in prison. He is now 75 years old and incarcerated in a state prison.
Southern Baptist Convention News
According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was launched on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The document consists of scary new specifics concerning particular abuse instances and sheds light on how denominational authorities actively opposed abuse prevention and reform for many years.
Southern Baptist Convention leaders have announced a comprehensive and independent 3rd party examination that discovered that abusers were often overlooked, forgotten, or perhaps denounced by upper-level church leaders from within this religious denomination of greater than 16 million individuals. Furthermore, it uncovered these leaders typically deceived their very own members to stop them from understanding the widespread sexual abuses.
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A History of Ignored Misconduct
Practically all of these reported incidents fell outside of the statutes of limitations, making it unclear how many predators were actually charged. According to the report, a secret list of predators was kept.
The report states that a key Southern Baptist leader was credibly implicated of sexual abuse only 1 month after completing his two-year term as the convention’s president. The report also names three prior presidents of the convention, a previous vice president, and the former head of the SBC’s administrative arm as notable SBC leaders who helped in covering and even encouraged thought abusers.
One victim detailed being treated with animosity as she claimed she was sexually abused by a youth pastor. The accused pastor served in several Southern Baptist churches in a number of states. During a meeting with the SBC leaders in 2007, a member of the Executive Board “turned his back to her during her speech and another chortled.”
Accountability in the Baptist Church
The report states that a key Southern Baptist official was credibly implicated of sexual assault merely one month after finishing his two-year spell as the convention’s president. The report also names 3 prior presidents of the convention, a former vice president, and the previous head of the SBC’s administrative council as prominent SBC leaders who helped in protecting and even motivated thought sexual abusers.
He anticipates this report will bring about much-needed change and hold those accountable for their horrific acts of abuse.
For more information about resources available to sexual abuse survivors in Florida, visit this link: https://abuseguardian.com/sexual-assault-lawyer/florida/sex-trauma-therapist-fl/
Abuse Guardian for Florida