New evidence supports allegations that Rachael Denhollander has a conflict of interest problem regarding her involvement with sex abuse victims and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Abuse Hotline.
Also, Denhollander allegedly gained access to private information from abuse victim and then contacted Liberty University for a paid position dealing with abuse complaints.
Rachael Denhollander has a significant conflict of interest in her role advising victims contacting the SBC’s Abuse Hotline. New evidence corroborates everything Christa Brown alleged in her important Baptist News essay. This new evidence comes from a survivor advocate attempting to defend Denhollander.
Jules Woodson said that the text messages included Denhollander providing guidance on attorneys who could represent alleged victims in cases against the Southern Baptist Convention. Here is a screenshot of the thread. Note how Woodson is trying to defend Denhollander’s involvement but accidently confirms the most serious ethical problems regarding Denhollander’s conflicts of interest.
Note carefully, “Rachael good give them guidance on what types of attorneys to look for, as well as pitfalls to avoid (such as attorneys that require NDA’s,) Woodson said in the Twitter thread.
In other words, Woodson confirmed Denhollander is helping or intended to help abuse victims to sue the Southern Baptist Convention—while taking part in a system funded by the Southern Baptist Convention after already having represented an alleged victim who received a settlement (against legal advice) from the SBC.
You really need to read Christa Brown’s essay at Baptist News that highlights the issues involved.
Legal experts pointed toward Denhollander’s actions potentially violating ethical guidelines for lawyers. For example, the California Bar Association (where Denhollander is admitted) has rules against this. According to the California Bar Association its Rule 4.3b “prohibits the lawyer from seeking to obtain from an unrepresented person ‘privileged or other confidential information’ that the lawyer ‘knows* or reasonably should know*’ the person may not reveal without violating a duty to another or which the lawyer is not otherwise entitled to receive.”
Denhollander is working (whether paid or not) on behalf of the SBC through a system for which the SBC pays. Denhollander’s relationship appears to give her access to just this type of privileged information from unsuspecting abuse victims.
Conflicts of interest abound for Denhollander. Yet, that is only part of the story. Rachael Denhollander is exploiting information from abuse victims in a bid to earn a paycheck, according to victim advocates and survivors. The most striking example of this comes from Liberty University.
Chelsea Andrews, the 2015 Liberty University Senior Class President and Jane Doe 7 in a legal complaint against Liberty over how the school mishandled sexual abuse cases, made shocking allegations against Denhollander—namely, that Denhollander exploited private information to try to a score a paycheck from Liberty University.
Andrews said, “May 2021 I went public about my sexual assault at Liberty University. Everyone I knew pushed me to speak to RD. She told me it would be an uphill battle then ghosted me after looking at sensitive information. Then she offered Liberty University paid services.”
Denhollander offered LU paid services after getting information from an abuse victim.
Who is Denhollander trying to help?
Obviously, herself—to buckets of money from big entities looking to control the PR problem of an abuse scandal.
It is a nice grift if you can get it. However, it shows little care or concern for abuse victims or for the institutions that might use her services.