Southern Baptist Convention group waives privilege in sex abuse probe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After a battle that dragged on longer than many expected, the Southern Baptist Convention executive committee waived attorney-client privilege for an investigation into the panel’s handling of sexual abuse reports and treatment of victims over the past 21 years.

During a special, virtual session on Tuesday, the executive committee voted 44-31 to approve a contract with a third-party investigator, Guidepost Solutions. The contract allows Guidepost to review privileged communications and legal memos between executive committee members or staff and their lawyers.

“I am grateful that the vote went yes today after much deliberation and private sessions,” said Jules Woodson, a sexual abuse survivor and activist. “That being said, it should not have taken three weeks to get here. The fact that it did is part of the problem.”

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