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Was Richard Thomas Riley Listed in SBC Abuse Investigation Report?

Richard Thomas Riley, a former Life Way Christian School teacher, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for having a sexual relationship with one of his students. He pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault and child pornography on a computer, both Class B felonies. The school is run by First Baptist Centerton in Centerton, Arkansas.

Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Helpline

SBC Guidepost Report Names

According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was released on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The document includes terrible new details concerning certain abuse occurrences and sheds light on how denominational authorities actively fought abuse prevention and reform for years.

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have actually announced an extensive and independent 3rd party investigation that uncovered that abusers were often disregarded, forgotten, or even denounced by high-level congregation authorities from within this religious denomination of larger than 16 million people. Furthermore, it showed these leaders typically deceived their own members to stop them from knowing the widespread sexual assaults.

Read more about the SBC Guidepost Report Names

A Story of Disregarded Misconduct

Almost all of these reported events fell outside of the statutes of limitations, making it uncertain how many predators were in fact charged. According to the report, an in-house list was kept.

One victim talked about being treated with hostility as she claimed she was sexually assaulted by a youth pastor. The implicated pastor served in several Southern Baptist churches in several states. At 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.”

Responsibility in the Southern Baptist Church

Russell Moore, the previous head of the SBC’s policy arm, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, mentioned ‘this is not all Southern Baptists, look at all the good we do.’ The report shows a pattern of stonewalling, intimidation, coverup, and retaliation.” He anticipates this document will bring much-needed change and hold those liable for their actions.

The document claims that a major Southern Baptist official was credibly accused of sexual abuse no more than one month after finishing his two-year spell 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 division as prominent SBC leaders who assisted in covering and actually encouraged believed sexual predators.

He wishes this report will bring much-needed change and hold those accountable for their misconduct.

To learn more about resources available for survivors in Arkansas, visit this page:

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