Home Christian News Pastor Who Blamed Rape Victims for Wearing Shorts Apologizes on Church Sign

Pastor Who Blamed Rape Victims for Wearing Shorts Apologizes on Church Sign

bobby leonard
Screenshot from X / @BadSermons

A pastor who said he would let a rapist go free if the rape victim had been wearing shorts has gone viral for his remarks. Pastor Bobby Leonard of Bible Baptist Tabernacle in Monroe, North Carolina, has since apologized via a sign in front of his church.

“I used to say this,” Leonard said during a clip of one of his sermons. “I haven’t said this in a long time. You ready? I said, ‘If you dress like that and you get raped, and I’m on the jury, he’s gonna go free.’”

RELATED: Brian Houston Says His ‘Ladies and Girls Kissing’ Post Was Due to His Account Being Hacked

Even if people don’t like those words, said Leonard, “I’m right though. I can’t help if you don’t like it, I’m right. Cause, y’know, a man’s a man. A man’s a man.”

Pastor Bobby Leonard Draws Outrage, Protests

A bio on Bible Baptist Tabernacle’s website says that Pastor Bobby Leonard founded the church over 40 years ago. The sermon clip, which has generated shock and anger and gained millions of views online, is reportedly from a message he gave in August 2023. The church appears to have deactivated its Facebook and YouTube accounts. 

At the beginning of the clip, which was posted on X (formerly Twitter) by the account Bad Preacher Clips, Leonard said that if people pay attention when they are at Pigeon Forge (Tennessee), outlet malls, or “uptown,” they’ll see “more women gonna have shorts on than you will have pants and dresses put together.” One time, the pastor said, he sat in his car, “and I counted.”

“Try that,” he said. “You’ll find more women going in those places with shorts than you will women with pants and dresses put together. Try. If you got time, try.” The pastor then went on to say he would let a rapist go free if the victim had been wearing shorts because “a man’s a man.”

People have responded to Pastor Bobby Leonard’s words, calling them “shameful” and “horrifying.” 

Jason Puckett with WBTV News in Charlotte reported on the story Thursday, Feb. 22, and said, “The church didn’t want to talk to us.” He posted a photo of a sign in front of the church showing an apology from the pastor that says, “I am sorry for any hurt. I was wrong.”