Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Leslie M. Mason, a former pastor for a Southern Baptist church in Illinois? Our experienced sexual abuse attorneys are here to help. We’ve watched with horror as the recent sexual abuse crisis has swept through the Southern Baptist Convention. Hundreds of survivors have stepped forward to report sexual abuse against Southern Baptist ministers and volunteers. Crimes of this magnitude deserve a swift response.
Legal Support For Victims Of Leslie M. Mason
Leslie M. Mason served as the pastor of Olney Southern Baptist Church in Olney, Illinois for seven years. But just days before he was set to deliver a keynote sermon at Illinois’ state convention for Southern Baptists, he was charged with multiple sex crimes. In 2001, Mason was charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault for incidents involving two teenage girls who attended his church. Soon after, prosecutors from the Illinois Attorney General’s office added another 10 counts of criminal sexual assault against the 35-year-old minister.
Filing A Southern Baptist Convention Lawsuit
On October 24, 2001, members of the Olney Southern Baptist Church unanimously voted to remove Mason from his position. A rising star in Illinois’ Southern Baptist Community, Mason was ultimately convicted of the charges against him, becoming a registered sex offender in the State of Illinois.
While Leslie M. Mason has now been punished for his crimes, some survivors believe that full justice has yet to be done. Neither his church, Olney Southern Baptist Church, nor the Southern Baptist Convention or its leadership in Illinois, have yet been held accountable.
SBC Faces Sexual Abuse Crisis
The Southern Baptist Convention is scrambling to head-off a true sexual abuse crisis in the wake of an investigative report published by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. In an expansive investigation, the two Texas newspapers published the names of some 220 ministers, deacons, volunteers and Sunday school teachers who have been convicted of sexual abuse over the past 20 years. The cases represent over 700 victims.
Worse than these aggregate numbers, at least three dozen pastors and church workers who have been accused of sexual abuse continue to work for Southern Baptist churches. In the same breath, the Southern Baptist Convention continues to struggle to address the problem. At the faith community’s annual meeting, President J.D. Greear has proposed several solutions, including a database of suspected predators (an idea rejected by the Southern Baptist leadership more than a decade ago), but no action has been taken.
Holding Responsible Parties Accountable
Leslie M. Mason’s name can be found among the 220 deacons, pastors and volunteers listed in the recent Southern Baptist sexual abuse investigation. A registered sex offender and convicted criminal, having been found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls from his congregation, the former minister has been punished through the criminal justice system.
Yet many sexual abuse survivors believe that the Southern Baptist Convention must also be held accountable under the circumstances. As these advocates argue, the organization for years has chosen to ignore the deep problem of sexual abuse within Southern Baptist congregations. According to survivors, many Southern Baptist churches have even worked to conceal sexual abuse cases from the secular authorities and the public.
Experienced Church Sexual Abuse Attorneys
Our attorneys believe that sexual abuse survivors deserve strong support in their pursuit of justice. Thanks to Illinois’ powerful tradition of civil law, many sexual abuse survivors may have the right to file a private civil lawsuit against the Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Baptist churches and individual pastors and volunteers who abused them.
In a civil lawsuit, you can pursue justice, accountability and financial compensation for the harm you have suffered. This is your right as a resident of Illinois. If you or a loved one were sexually abused by a member of the Southern Baptist church, you have powerful legal rights. Learn more about your options in a free, confidential consultation today.
Our experienced Illinois sexual abuse attorneys are here to help. We have the resources and experience necessary to pursue your case with confidence. We offer compassionate support and aggressive advocacy, ensuring that your best interests are protected. Find more information at no charge and no obligation now. Just contact our attorneys today.