Attorney J. Caleb Jones has published another stunning presentation/analysis of an important Southern Baptist Convention Lawsuit (click here to see his first).
Want a preview of the details of the legal Complaint? From Jones’ piece:
David Sills and His Wife Claim There Was Never Any Sexual Intercourse At All, Ever, At Any Time Between David Sills and Jennifer Lyell
The Complaint does not hid and it does not disappoint. Though 30 pages in length, the key facts allged are right on the first page. In fact, the key facts alleged are right in the first few paragraphs:
1. Plaintiffs David Sills and Mary Sills file this complaint against Defendants, alleging
defamation, conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and wantonness
concerning untrue claims of sexual abuse initiated by Defendant, Jennifer Lyell, and thereafter
repeated and published by the Defendants, and each of them, as well as untrue claims that Mrs.
Mary Sills aided, abetted, facilitated, or otherwise enabled the said sexual abuse.
2. Dr. Sills did not, at any time, sexually abuse Defendant Lyell.
3. Dr. Sills did not ever force himself upon Defendant Lyell.
4. Dr. Sills never used violence against Defendant Lyell, and never threatened to use
violence against Defendant Lyell, or anyone else.
5. Dr. Sills did not engage in sexual intercourse with Defendant Lyell, at any time
I assumed that David Sills would say paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4. But then I saw paragraph 5 and thought WHAT!? You mean that David Sills did not engage in sexual intercourse with Jennifer Lyell AT ANY TIME WHATSOEVER? Yep. And not only is David Sills saying that, but HIS WIFE IS SAYING THAT, TOO.
That is EXPLOSIVE. If true, this makes Amber Heard look downright saintly in comparison to Jennifer Lyell. Is it true? I don’t know, but that’s what’s being alleged. I would also note that if David Sills claimed this and it was false, he is committing legal suicide. There are 1,000 other legal directions to go to have a defamation claim, but this one is the most extreme.
...look at the following incredible allegation in the Complaint:
49. SPI or Guidepost never sought statements from or interviews with Dr. Sills and Mrs. Sills, or their pastor. Neither of the Sills Plaintiffs were interviewed by Defendants SPI or Guidepost. The Sills Plaintiffs were never contacted by any police department or investigator. The Report (as it related to Dr. Sills) primarily relied on statements from Defendants Mohler and Lyell, as well as purported SBC documents.
WHAT!? You mean Guidepost NEVER SOUGHT statements or interviews with Dr. Sills, a KEY FIGURE in this whole debacle? How much did the SBC pay for this report again?
That’s right. The SBC paid two MILLION dollars to produce this report, and despite that insane amount of payment, apparently no interviews were even SOUGHT from a KEY FACTUAL WITNESS on the KEY FACTUAL CLAIM in the Guidepost Solutions Report.
If the allegations in the David and Mary Sills complaint are true, that’s not just overpayment for and “incompetent” report. That’s getting to the level of “bribery” and “kickback” levels of overpayment for an incompetent report.
Not only do we have the complete reversal of what we all previously thought – which is that there was a SEXUAL relationship between Sills and Lyell – which may or may not have been abusive, we have something else in this complaint:
6. At all relevant times, Ms. Lyell was well above the age of consent (i.e., 26 years of age) when she met Dr. Sills and did initiate and affirmatively cultivate and maintain a personal and emotionally intimate relationship with Plaintiff Dr. Sills.
7. As an acquisitions editor for Moody Publishers, and then as senior publishing executive for LifeWay, Ms. Lyell lived several hundred miles and many hours away from Dr. Sills, in the states of Illinois and Tennessee, and she would drive several hundred miles to see him.
8. Plaintiff Sills ended the relationship with Defendant Lyell who nevertheless persisted her pursuit of Sills and undertook efforts to reach Dr. Sills through his family.
In other words, the allegations from the Sills are not only that the relation ship was not sexual and not abusive, but also that it was LYELL who was the initiator here.
This may well be the lawsuit that has had Bart Barber muddying the waters on Twitter about, including his note that he’s been served papers on.
If so and if Attorney Jones is to be believed…
Give it a read over on Jones’ website.
Southern Baptist should know this is big enough, nasty enough, with serious ramifications for enough big name SBC players that it is entirely possible North American Mission Board discretionary funds will be marshaled to make all involved parties clam up and go away.
So keep your eyes on it.