Re­port: Many abused by South­ern Baptist lead­ers

The Detroit News - - NATION & WORLD -

San An­to­nio – Two news­pa­pers are re­port­ing that about 380 South­ern Baptist church lead­ers and work­ers have been ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct since 1998, leav­ing more than 700 vic­tims.

The San An­to­nio Ex­press-News and the Hous­ton Chron­i­cle re­ported Sun­day their six-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that many of the vic­tims were shunned by their churches.

They re­ported that at least 35 church pas­tors, em­ploy­ees and vol­un­teers who ex­hib­ited preda­tory be­hav­ior were still able to find jobs at churches. Some reg­is­tered sex of­fend­ers re­turned to the pul­pit. Sev­eral past pres­i­dents and prom­i­nent South­ern Baptist Con­ven­tion were among those that vic­tims crit­i­cized for con­ceal­ing or mis­han­dling abuse com­plaints within their churches or sem­i­nar­ies.

Lawyer says tabloid didn’t ex­tort Be­zos

An at­tor­ney for the head of the Na­tional En­quirer’s par­ent com­pany de­nies the tabloid com­mit­ted ex­tor­tion or black­mail by threat­en­ing to pub­lish Ama­zon CEO Jeff Be­zos’ ex­plicit pho­tos.

Elkan Abramowitz rep­re­sents Amer­i­can Me­dia Inc. CEO David Pecker. Abramowitz de­fended the tabloid’s prac­tice as a “ne­go­ti­a­tion” in an in­ter­view Sun­day with ABC’s “This Week.”

The En­quirer pub­lished a story last month that in­cluded lurid texts be­tween Be­zos and for­mer TV an­chor Lau­ren Sanchez. Be­zos said AMI later threat­ened to ex­pose his re­veal­ing pho­tos if he didn’t have his pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors back off.

Abramowitz said the story was given to the En­quirer by a “re­li­able source.”

In other head­lines

Chimps break out of zoo: Zookeep­ers say chim­panzees used branches to make a lad­der and es­cape their en­clo­sure at the Belfast Zoo. Video filmed by vis­i­tors to the North­ern Ire­land zoo showed primates scal­ing a wall, with one walk­ing down a path out­side the en­clo­sure. Zookeeper Alyn

Cairns said trees in the en­clo­sure had been weak­ened by storms, al­low­ing the an­i­mals to break them and fash­ion a lad­der to es­cape.

Sus­pect charged in fa­tal cop shoot­ing: A man who was charged Sun­day with killing a Mil­wau­kee of­fi­cer dur­ing a drug raid told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he didn’t re­al­ize it was po­lice try­ing to break down his door, au­thor­i­ties said. Jor­dan P. Fricke, 26, is charged with first-de­gree in­ten­tional homi­cide and other crimes in the fa­tal shoot­ing of 35-year-old Of­fi­cer Matthew Rit­tner. Ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, po­lice an­nounced their pres­ence sev­eral times. Rit­tner died of a gun­shot wound to the chest.

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