One of Houston’s leading law firms is handling the appeal of a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by former Southern Baptist Convention leader Paul Pressler.
A district judge recently signed final orders dismissing the three remaining claims in a lawsuit filed by Gareld Duane Rollins Jr., a 54-year-old man who says sexual abuse that began when he was a teenager sent him on a downward spiral of substance abuse and multiple arrests that continued until he made an outcry statement to a prison psychologist in 2015.
Last year Houston Judge Ravi K. Sandill dismissed counts of abuse alleged prior to 2004, saying the claims are too old to litigate due to the state’s statute of limitations.
Rollins filed a notice of appeal June 18 represented by attorneys with Baker Botts, a firm with history dating back to the Republic of Texas in 1840 that now employs about 725 lawyers in 14 cities around the globe.
Rollins discharged his former lawyer, Daniel Shea, in April. Shea previously represented Rollins in a lawsuit against Pressler settled in a confidential agreement in 2004.
Houston Chronicle reporter Robert Downen said recently on Twitter that claims of sexual misconduct by Pressler — allegedly concealed with help from “conservative resurgence” co-founder Paige Patterson — prompted investigative reporting earlier this year that found widespread abuse allegations in the nation’s second-largest faith group behind Roman Catholics.
Pressler, an 89-year-old retired appeals court justice, has denied the allegations.
Patterson, fired last year as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, faces allegations of mishandling a reported rape in a separate lawsuit filed recently in federal court.