Teen Girl Gets Raped at Summer 2016 Baptist-Hosted Youth Event by Staff Cook
This sort of thing sends chills up my spine. I was raised by my Christian parents to ASSUME that Christian areas – such as churches and so on – are safe places to be, and a good place to meet single men to flirt with in the aim of getting married. But I continue to see news story after news story of girls and women who are raped, fondled, or secretly recorded on church grounds or at church-sponsored events (and by men who are Christians, too).
by L. Blair
The world’s largest church summer youth camp, hosted at a conference center owned and operated by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, could come under greater scrutiny this year after it was alleged in a recent lawsuit that a 13-year-old girl was tied up and brutally raped by a 35-year-old cook last summer.
…In the civil lawsuit that names the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, Country Estates Baptist Church of Midwest City, and First Baptist Church of Terrell as defendants, the unidentified 13-year-old girl claims she was raped by camp cook Benjamin Lawrence Petty of Midwest City on June 16, 2016.
…Petty was criminally charged in Murray County in June with first-degree rape, rape by instrumentation and forcible sodomy. He is awaiting a preliminary hearing, according to NewsOK.
…Information from the lawsuit notes that while the Baptist General Convention employs staff to run the camp, it also requires participating churches to bring at least one adult sponsor, including cooks, for every 10 campers.
It explains that the convention does not independently investigate the backgrounds of adults that churches bring to the camp as sponsors, but requires participating churches to perform background checks on sponsors and cooks prior to arrival instead. No additional reviews are conducted, according to the lawsuit.
“The BGCO does not look at nor review the background checks supposedly run on the adult sponsors and cooks brought to its camp, nor does it make any meaningful attempt to insure that such background checks are in fact completed by the participating churches,” the lawsuit explained.
….The lawsuit argues that “minimal effort” on their part would have revealed that “Petty was a convicted criminal and it was readily apparent that he was involved in a lifestyle contrary and repugnant” to the values they espoused.
The churches and convention were also accused of being negligent for failing to adequately supervise sponsors and camp participants, and failing to train them on how to recognize and avoid predators, according to NewsOK.