The independent investigation into allegations that the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee mishandled sexual abuse claims has progressed to the document-collection stage, according to a Dec. 20 update by the task force charged with overseeing the process.
Guidepost Solutions, the firm handling the investigation, has focused on “critical investigative fundamentals, such as the collection and review of relevant documents from the SBC EC, particularly the collection of electronic documents,” according to the update from the Sexual Abuse Task Force.
The task force also noted that Ed Litton, president of the SBC and pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, has been appointed to serve as the representative of the liaison group to Guidepost as required by the organization’s contract with the task force.
The Committee on Cooperation was formed to act as a liaison between the SBC Executive Committee, the Sexual Abuse Task Force and Guidepost Solutions during the ongoing investigation.
“Thus far, at Guidepost’s request Dr. Litton has provided prompt and effective support for the investigation,” the task force reported.
Since the last update, Guidepost has engaged in the following activities, according to the task force statement:
–Continued to receive and review documents provided by the SBC EC pursuant to its initial document request.
–Coordinated the transfer and processing of all electronic records from the SBC EC to the Guidepost investigative team; once completed began applying search terms to electronic information to retrieve information relevant to the investigation; began review of the relevant electronic information.
–Continued to conduct interviews with survivors, witnesses, and current and former SBC EC members and staff. Please note that Guidepost will not affirmatively contact survivors for interviews or to gather information as part of the investigation. If any survivor wishes to communicate with Guidepost, or otherwise provide information in a manner in which he/she is comfortable, Guidepost encourages the survivor to utilize the EC Investigations email (ECInvestigation@guidepostsolutions.com), or any other method communication that makes the survivor comfortable.
–Engaged a Survivor Care Liaison to provide support to survivors, if needed, after they participate in the Guidepost investigation including being available to debrief with survivors regarding the process relating to the interview and investigation experience, especially as it relates to re-traumatization; being available to answer survivor questions and manage expectations regarding investigative process; offer counseling referrals as needed; and serve as a liaison between survivor and team, including providing feedback as authorized by survivor for improvement on process.
Additional updates will be posted to the Sexual Abuse Task Force website.