A Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary student was arrested last week by a suburban Fort Worth, Texas, police department on charges of felony sexual assault.
In Texas law, “felony sexual assault” is a specific term meaning rape. Sexual assault in Texas is defined as one of five “coercive sexual acts,” including “forcible and violent intercourse with penetration or sexual contact, even when both parties consent” as well as “intercourse and penetration without the consent of one of the parties.”
Christian “Curly” Flores was suspended from the Southern Baptist seminary’s undergraduate college, Texas Baptist College, after he was arrested by Burleson, Texas, police officers Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 24.
The Burleson Police Department only publishes arrest records once a week, and as of Sunday night, Jan. 29, last week’s records were not published online. However, a seminary news release stated that Flores had turned himself in to Burleson police and was arrested.
Accounts from other students on campus indicated Flores turned himself in at Southwestern’s campus police department, where Burleson officers received him. The seminary operates its own police department — one of 2,700 law enforcement agencies in the state, which boasts by far the largest number of police departments of any state in the union.
Although as an undergraduate Flores lived on campus at Southwestern, there is no indication the alleged assault occurred on campus.
Although as an undergraduate Flores lived on campus at Southwestern, there is no indication the alleged assault occurred on campus. Burleson is a suburb located about 11 miles south of the seminary’s Fort Worth campus.
No further details about the alleged assault are publicly available at this time. BNG will not publish the identities of alleged victims of sexual assault without their consent.
By the account of other students, Flores was a popular and outgoing student well-known on campus. His image appeared in some of the seminary’s publicity materials.
The Jan. 24 news release from Southwestern Seminary indicated its campus police were cooperating with both the Burleson Police Department and the Fort Worth Police Department in locating Flores that day.
In Texas, sexual assault is a second-degree felony that can carry a prison sentence of between two and 20 years plus a fine of $10,000. Those convicted of sexual assault must register as sex offenders.
The issue of sexual assault has taken center stage in the Southern Baptist Convention over the past two years, including a massive independent investigation of mishandling knowledge of abuse. The U.S. Department of Justice reportedly is conducting an ongoing investigation into a wide array of sexual abuse cases in SBC churches and institutions.
Although the Justice Department will not acknowledge its current investigations, BNG has spoken with multiple individuals who have been interviewed by the Justice Department for this investigation.
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