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LEGAL DIGEST: Sills case defendants request dismissal; Man charged for damage to pregnancy center

Defendants ask to be dismissed from case filed by David and Mary Sills

By BP staff

NASHVILLE (BP) – A group of defendants named in a suit filed by David and Mary Sills have asked Judge William Campbell, Jr. dismiss them from the case in the United States District Court.

Former Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor and missiologist David Sills and his wife Mary filed suit in Nashville on May 11. The suit alleges defamation, conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence concerning untrue claims of sexual abuse declared by Jennifer Lyell and repeated by those named in the suit.

Attorneys for the SBC, former SBC president Ed Litton, Lifeway Christian Resources, Lyell, former Lifeway executive Eric Geiger, the SBC Executive Committee (EC), current SBC President Bart Barber, interim EC president and CEO Willie McLaurin, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), SBTS President Albert Mohler, Guidepost Solutions and SolutionPoint International filed motions for dismissal on July 12.

Reasons for dismissal cited by defendants included jurisdiction, the failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and other grounds.

The news of Sills’ May 23, 2018, resignation from SBTS was first reported by the Biblical Recorder. Baptist Press later reported on Lyell’s allegations of being sexually abused by Sills on March 8, 2019. The story was later removed and an explanation was issued on Oct. 15, 2019.

The Executive Committee formally apologized to Lyell on Feb. 22, 2022, for “its failure to adequately listen, protect, and care for Jennifer Lyell when she came forward to share her story of abuse by a seminary professor.”

Sills claims he never abused or forced himself on Lyell.

College student charged for defacing pregnancy care center

By BP Staff

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BP) – A Bowling Green University student has been charged with a federal misdemeanor under the FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act.

According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, the charge was brought by U.S. Attorney Rebecca C. Lutzko, Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson and Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick against 20-year-old Whitney M. Durant, a.k.a. Soren Monroe.

The charge alleges that on April 15, Durant intentionally damaged the property of HerChoice, a pregnancy care center located in Bowling Green, Ohio, by defacing the clinic’s building with spray paint. According to its website, HerChoice does not provide abortions or referrals for abortions. It does provide free pregnancy tests, STI testing, ultrasounds, parenting classes and more.

“An information is only an allegation and is not evidence of guilt,” the DOJ’s statement said. “The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The statutory maximum sentence for a FACE Act violation is one year incarceration.

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  • BP Staff