SALISBURY, N.C. (ABP) — Moral activist and conservative Southern Baptist Convention leader Coy Privette received “deferred prosecution” on six charges of aiding and abetting prostitution during his hearing Aug. 22.
Privette, a Rowan County, N.C., commissioner and former executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, admitted to investigators that he had sex with an accused prostitute, according to the prosecutor at the hearing.
He has also served as president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, trustee chair at the SBC's Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and a trustee of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Deferred prosecution means Privette, who resigned from the state convention's board after his arrest in July, will have his record wiped clean if he performs 48 hours of community service, complies with probation requirements for a year and pays court and probation costs.
Privette arrived at the Rowan County Courthouse at about 10:30 a.m. with his lawyers. He said only, “Good morning,” in response to repeated questions from reporters.
As he left the courthouse after his 10-minute hearing, Privette distributed a written statement thanking his friends and family for their support over the past month.
“I know that I have hurt and disappointed a lot of people, and I am truly sorry,” the statement read. “It is my hope that people can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
Privette said he is going to dedicate considerable time and effort to “repair” himself.
“I am already seeking professional attention to this end,” he said. “As I undergo much needed personal and spiritual reflection, I sincerely ask everyone to keep me in their thoughts and prayers on my journey to earn back the trust that I have lost.”
According to the prosecutor, the case started June 27 when a Cabarrus County bank refused to honor a check being drawn against Privette's account because it seemed high. Bank employees alerted police in Kannapolis, N.C., where Privette lives.
A police investigator interviewed Tiffany Summers, who said she had received the check from Privette. She also said she had sex with Privette on a number of occasions in two hotels.
Summers showed the investigator a photo of Privette that she took with her cell phone. The prosecutor said Privette had signed in to the hotels under his own name six times. Hotel security cameras showed both Privette and Summers, according to the prosecutor.
Given Privette's notoriety as a local politician, the local district attorney asked the State Bureau of Investigation to help with the case.
The prosecutor said that, since Privette had no prior criminal record, he qualified for deferred prosecution.