(RNS) — Davis Sills, a former seminary professor and missionary who was fired after admitting sexual misconduct, has filed a second lawsuit against a group of Southern Baptist Convention leaders and entities, claiming they conspired to defame him.In a complaint filed Thursday (May 11), in the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee, Sills and his wife, Mary, claim he was made a scapegoat for the denomination’s sex abuse crisis.
“After various mischaracterizations, misstatements, and contrived investigations by Defendants, Plaintiffs have been wrongfully and untruthfully labelled as criminals and shunned by the SBC and every other religious organization with which Plaintiff Sills has tried to associate,” the complaint alleges.
Sills lost his job as a professor of missions and cultural anthropology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2018 after admitting to an affair with a former student. In the complaint, Sills admits his conduct with the student, Jennifer Lyell, as inappropriate and says he was “repentant and obedient to the rules of the SBC.”
But the complaint alleges that the seminary’s president, Albert Mohler, as well as members of the SBC’s Executive Committee, the SBC’s former president, Lyell and others, then conspired to shame Sills, who alleges he has no longer been able to find work in Chris …
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