HOUSTON — Of the nearly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders, staff members and volunteers accused of sexual crimes or child abuse, 220 were convicted or pleaded guilty to the charges.
At least 18 were convicted or pleaded guilty in Florida.
The Houston Chronicle said the Southern Baptist Convention does not keep a list of church officials and staff members convicted of sex abuse crimes, so the newspaper made one. The Abuse of Faith investigation was published Sunday.
The newspaper said these people left behind 700 victims over the last 20 years.
The men from Florida were convicted or pleaded guilty as far back as 2000 and as recently as 2017. Not all of them are in jail.
One former Jacksonville pastor is a registered sex offender in Florida for 2009 convictions of molesting two teenage girls. He went back to work at another church in 2012 after a three-year prison term.
Former Countryside Baptist Church minister Randy Lee Morrow was convicted in Pinellas County for lewd and lascivious behavior and sexual battery of a minor. He's currently serving a 30-year prison sentence in Florida.
Marshal A. Seymour was a volunteer youth minister in Polk County. He's now a registered sex offender after pleading guilting to three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and one charge of directing the sexual performance of a child. He was released from prison in 2016.
Samuel Sutter pleaded guilty in Hillsborough County court to lewd and lascivious battery, unlawful sexual activity with a minor and using a computer to solicit illegal acts.
Hillsborough detectives said Sutter had sex with a girl at his home and in a restroom at Openwater Church in Odessa. He was sentenced to 10 years in 2017.
Another former Pinellas County youth pastor was convicted of having sex with a teen and sentenced to four years in prison in 2009. He has since been released and is registered as a sex offender. Another former Hillsborough County deacon was sentenced in 2000 in federal court to 21 months. The Chronicle said he allegedly engaged in cybersex chatrooms with numerous teens.
The Chronicle said of the 220 people who have been convicted or pleaded guilty to sex crimes, more than 90 are in prison. Another 100 are registered sex offenders.
Head to the database to search by name, state, decade or church position.
The Southern Baptist Convention is a fellowship of more than 47,000 churches and 15 million members, according to the Washington Post. The group is the country's second-largest faith group after the Catholic Church.
The Chronicle investigation comes just weeks after Texas Dioceses posted links to lists of pedophile priests in the state.
SBC President J.D. Greear responded to the investigation in a Twitter thread saying he is "broken over what was revealed today." He called the abuses described in the Chronicle investigation as "pure evil."
He, too, tweeted options for people in how to seek help and acknowledges "700 [victims] is not the total number."
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