United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KIMBERLY C. PRIEST JOHNSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff's Amended Motion to Proceed
Under a Pseudonym (the “Motion”) (Dkt. 9). The
Motion is ex parte because Defendants have not yet
been served. Plaintiff seeks to proceed under the pseudonym
of Jane Roe (“Roe”) and seal her Original
Complaint (the “Complaint”) in order to protect
her privacy. For the reasons explained below, the Court finds
the Motion (Dkt. 9) is GRANTED.
formerly attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
(“SWBTS”), located in Fort Worth, Texas.
See Dkt. 8 at 2. Plaintiff alleges she was sexually
assaulted on multiple occasions on the SWBTS campus by John
Doe (“Doe”), a fellow student who was also an
SWBTS employee. See id. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant SWBTS and Defendant Leighton Paige Patterson
(“Patterson”), President of SWBTS at the time of
the alleged assaults, failed to take any action to protect
Plaintiff from the assaults, and after the incidents were
reported, their negligent and intentional actions resulted in
additional harm to Plaintiff. Id. The Court refers
to Patterson and SWBTS collectively as
“Defendants.” Plaintiff brings suit against
Defendants for negligence, public disclosure of private
facts, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and
gross negligence. See Dkt. 8 at 26-33.
began attending SWBTS in 2014, and chose to attend SWBTS
because she believed the institution shared her
“conservative Christian” views. See Dkt.
8 at 11. While attending, Plaintiff lived and worked on
campus. See id.
September of 2014, Plaintiff met John Doe
(“Doe”), a seminary student who was employed as a
plumber on campus. See id. In his role as a plumber,
Doe was issued keys to all campus buildings, including
Plaintiff's dormitory, where she lived and worked.
See id. Plaintiff asserts that Doe began stalking
her. See id. at 11-13. After some time, a professor
was “informed of Doe's stalking behavior towards
Roe, ” which Plaintiff asserts put the school on
notice. See id. at 12. Plaintiff asserts that no
action was taken by SWBTS following this report. See
Dkt. at 13.
October of 2014, Plaintiff asserts Doe raped her following a
campus barbecue. See Dkt. 8 at 12. Plaintiff asserts
Doe threatened her with a gun during the rape. See
id. Plaintiff alleges Doe continued his abuse of her,
including instances of strangling, repeated sexual assault,
multiple additional instances of rape, “twice forcing
[Plaintiff] to take the morning after pill, ”
criticizing Plaintiff, harming Plaintiff such that she was
repeatedly bruised, and threatening to harm or kill either
Plaintiff or himself with a gun. See Dkt. 8 at
11-15. After Doe abruptly “lost interest” in
Plaintiff, Plaintiff continued to fear for her safety, and
hid from Doe when he entered Plaintiff's dormitory for
his job as a plumber. See id. at 15. Plaintiff
alleges Doe had access to Plaintiff's daily schedule, as
well as that of her housemates, because it was publicly
posted at the front desk of Plaintiff's dormitory.
April of 2015, Plaintiff alleges Doe raped her again at
Horner House. See id. At that time, Doe
“forcibly raped [Plaintiff] at gunpoint and [as a
result, she] suffered bleeding from the injuries she
sustained for several months.” Dkt. 8 at 16. Plaintiff
alleges Doe raped her again the following day while he was
working as a plumber. See id. At that time,
Plaintiff alleges that “Doe took photographs of Roe
during the assault and threatened he would post the photos on
the internet if she said a word.” Id.
alleges her “mental and physical health deteriorated as
a result of the stalking and sexual assaults. She developed
an eating disorder.” See Dkt. 8 at 16. On
August 15, 2015, Plaintiff emailed Defendant Patterson to
inform him that a man was threatening her and her family.
See Dkt. 8 at 16. Plaintiff alleges that in response
to this email, Defendant Patterson scheduled a meeting with
Plaintiff and several male members of SWBTS staff, in which
“Patterson asked Roe humiliating questions about the
assault, including whether Doe ejaculated and whether she had
had her monthly period.” See id. at 17.
According to Plaintiff, “Patterson seemed to enjoy
making Roe even more uncomfortable.” See id.
Plaintiff alleges “Patterson told her it was ‘a
good thing' that she had been raped, because the right
man would not care if she was a virgin or not. . . .
Patterson told Roe he was ‘too busy' to deal with
her report of rape[.]” See id.
asserts Defendants were aware of Doe's bad acts and
violations of campus policies because: (1) prior to
enrolling, Doe allegedly met with Defendant Patterson
regarding his criminal history, at which time he was
encouraged to “fish” for a wife at SWBTS; and (2)
Doe openly kept firearms in his campus residence and vehicle,
including boasting about them and showing them to other SWBTS
employees. See Dkt. 8 at 10-15. Further, Plaintiff
alleges “Patterson acknowledged that often families
sent their sons to SWBTS for him to ‘fix'
them.” See Dkt. 8 at 17.
reported the rape to the Fort Worth Police Department
(“Fort Worth PD”). See Dkt. 8 at 17-18.
Plaintiff asserts that Doe's room was searched and nine
weapons were recovered, including firearms. See id.
at 18. Plaintiff alleges Fort Worth PD “cautioned
Patterson and directed him to refrain from contacting Doe
about the rape allegations since doing so could endanger
[Plaintiff]” but Patterson contacted Doe anyway.
See Dkt. 8 at 18-20. Additionally, in response to an
email regarding how to address Plaintiff's assault,
Plaintiff alleges that Patterson responded, “I have to
break her down and I may need no official types there but let
me see.” See Dkt. 8 at 19.
at a meeting purportedly held to address “a rift”
between Plaintiff and an assistant professor, Patterson was
present. See Dkt. 8 at 20. Plaintiff alleges the
purported rift was never discussed, but rather that Patterson
discussed Plaintiff's sexual assault in front of the
assistant professor, despite Plaintiff's request that the
assistant professor be excused to protect her privacy.
See id. At this time, Plaintiff alleges Patterson
accused Plaintiff of lying about both the assault and
Doe's firearms, discussed nude photos of Plaintiff, and
“threatened to ‘unleash' lawyers on
[Plaintiff's mother] if she dared question his leadership
at SWBTS.” See id. at 20-21.
Plaintiff withdrew from SWBTS. See id. at 22.
Patterson was later removed from his post as President of
SWBTS. See id. at 23. At the time Patterson was
removed, Plaintiff alleges that “additional allegations
of Patterson's wrongdoing surfaced-including his covering
up a 2003 rape and misappropriating documents[.]”
Patterson's termination, Plaintiff alleges that Sharayah
Colter (“Colter”), a SWBTS student and wife of an
SWBTS employee, published a blog releasing confidential
information about Plaintiff, which was later republished by
media outlets. See Dkt. 8 at 24. Plaintiff further
alleges Patterson's attorney, Shelby Sharp, issued a
press release on June 4, 2018, which “included more
untruths aimed at discrediting [Plaintiff].”