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The SBC and Kentucky Supreme Court deny abuse victim

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled against Samantha Killary, a sexual abuse survivor seeking to extend the time to file claims against those she believes knew of her abuse but did not act. Killary’s claims were made after the statute of limitations had expired but within the scope of a newly amended law. Despite efforts by the Kentucky Legislature to extend the time for such claims, the court stated that once the limitation period ended, it couldn’t be restarted. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and its entities, including Lifeway, opposed Killary’s rights in the case through an amicus brief, sparking controversy amid ongoing discussions about sexual abuse in churches. Despite a dissenting opinion arguing for the victims’ rights and the challenges they face, the court’s decision highlights the legal complexities surrounding expired statutes of limitations and the difficulties survivors encounter in seeking justice for childhood sexual abuse.

Baptist News Global:

To the surprise of Southern Baptists and particularly to abuse survivor advocates, the SBC, the SBC Executive Committee, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Lifeway Christian Resources submitted an amicus brief arguing against the rights of Killary to benefit from the extended statute of limitations and expanded rights to sue third parties. None of those entities are parties to the case.

That action would have gone unnoticed except for an investigative report by the Louisville Courier-Journal that was published months after the brief was filed — just as the SBC was reeling from national attention over lack of response to sexual abuse in churches. To further complicate matters, Killary grew up in an SBC church in Louisville where she says a youth pastor knew of her abuse and did not act.

Read more here.


Image: Samantha Killary via screen capture from Wave-TV

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