No Proof Bob Jones University Violated Sex Crime Reporting Laws
Carrie DedrickReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2015 Jul 29
A months-long police investigation was unable to prove that Bob Jones University violated any South Carolina laws by failing to report alleged sexual crimes against students.
The Christian Post reports police got involved after the GRACE organization (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) released a report last December, identifying 50 students that claimed they had been victims of sexual assault. When students sought counseling from resources at the Christian institution, counselors told victims to “repent” and encouraged them not to file police reports.
Police found that many of the sexual assaults that GRACE reported occurred years earlier or took place off campus. After extensive research, authorities were unable to find that BJU did not follow state laws to report sexual abuse.
"After interviewing all available witnesses, reviewing historical documentation, and consulting with the solicitor, it was jointly concluded that there is insufficient evidence to establish probable cause or prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either the faculty or administration of BJU in place at that time violated the mandatory reporting law in the cases we reviewed," a statement from Greenville Police Department said.
The police department said it would continued to investigate one assault case.
"...the GPD is currently conducting one investigation of sexual assault between two former students of BJU, as the incident occurred on campus and within GPD jurisdiction in 1988. This incident did not involve SC Code 64-7-310, but was reported to BJU Public Safety; however, the victim declined to prosecute at that time,” the department said.
BJU president Steve Pettit said that the university is “fully committed to regaining” the trust the was lost by students who felt their needs were not met by the establishment.
"This will take a lot of hard work in the coming months, in fact, years. This is a process of change that must and will happen by the grace of God. This is our solemn pledge,” Pettit said.
Publication date: July 29, 2015