Johnny Hunt admits to ‘only kissing and some awkward fondling’ in lawsuit that claims the Southern Baptist Convention and Guidepost libeled him by including him in its report of abusers and molesters. Lawsuit mentions Bart Barber tweet.
Former Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt filed suit against the Southern Baptist Convention, Guidepost Solutions, and the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention over a report that included Hunt among abusers and sex criminals.
The lawsuit claims, “By publishing the allegation against Pastor Johnny in a report purporting to focus on ‘child molesters and other abusers,’ Defendants intentionally and maliciously created the false impression that Pastor Johnny is a sex criminal. As recently as December 5, 2022, the SBC’s president reinforced this false impression by publishing a tweet in which he falsely asserted that the allegations against Pastor Johnny would ‘constitute a felony in any jurisdiction in the US.’”
The lawsuit claims the inclusion of Dr. Hunt was “damage control” and an attempt “to distract” attention from the Southern Baptist Convention’s “historical failure” in responding to allegations of sex abuse.
According to the lawsuit, “Defendants’ decision to feature the allegation against Pastor Johnny in their public report was a strategic decision to deflect attention from the SBC’s historical failure to take aggressive steps to respond to reports of child sex abuse and other sex crimes in its past. By focusing on the allegation against Pastor Johnny – an allegation by an adult woman that involved noncriminal conduct – and by then taking aggressive action against Pastor Johnny, the Defendants sought to create the appearance that the SBC has learned from its previous mistakes and is now working to protect victims of sex crimes.”
The lawsuit outlines how the damages will be claimed. Namely, the publication of libelous statements destroyed Hunt’s income.
According to the lawsuit, “Pastor Johnny’s life forever changed when the Defendants’ publicly released their report. He lost his job; he lost income from speaking engagements; and he lost income from publishing opportunities. His losses are substantial, and Defendants should be held liable.”
Hunt admits to “kissing and some awkward fondling” of a married woman in the lawsuit filing.
According to the lawsuit, “Pastor Johnny had a brief, inappropriate, extramarital encounter with a married woman. Some of the precise details are disputed, but at most, the encounter lasted only a few minutes, and it involved only kissing and some awkward fondling. It is undisputed that Pastor Johnny abruptly ended the encounter, both Pastor Johnny and the woman disclosed the encounter to their spouses, and they jointly sought counseling and forgiveness.”
The lawsuit features this tweet by Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber.
According to the lawsuit, “On December 5, 2022, the then-current President of the SBC, Bart Barber, publicly tweeted: ‘Hunt was the subject of a third-party investigation in response to allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman half his age in ways that would, to my knowledge, constitute a felony in any jurisdiction in the US.’ (Emphasis added.) A true and accurate copy of Mr. Barber’s tweet is attached to this Complaint as Exhibit C.”
This is what happens when you elect a buffoon like Bart Barber.
Anyway, you can read the entire filing below. It was first posted on social media by the Baptist Blogger. We’ve attached a few other exhibits from the case that we retrieved from PACER.