Home Christian News Pastor Bobby Leonard Issues Apology for Blaming Rape Victims Who Were Wearing...

Pastor Bobby Leonard Issues Apology for Blaming Rape Victims Who Were Wearing Shorts

Bobby Leonard
Church sign of Bible Baptist Tabernacle in Monroe, North Carolina screengrab via YouTube @WBTV News - Charlotte

Pastor Bobby Leonard of Bible Baptist Tabernacle in Monroe, North Carolina, who went viral online for saying he’d let a rapist go if the victim was wearing shorts, issued a written apology on Friday, Nov. 23.

Leonard posted his statement on the church’s website and said that he “failed to uphold the biblical values of love and compassion.” He apologized for the pain his words have caused.

“I want to express my deep regret for the statements made from the pulpit,” Leonard said. “I am only beginning to understand the hurt and offense caused, and I take full responsibility for my words.”

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Leonard clarified that he and his church “unequivocally stand on the biblical position that rape under any circumstances is a heinous crime to be punished severely” and that rape is “never excusable.”

“I want our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be glorified through my life,” he added. “He deserves my BEST not my WORST!”

Leonard concluded his statement by pleading for forgiveness. “I earnestly seek your forgiveness as I reaffirm my commitment to serve our community with unwavering integrity, humility, and profound love,” the pastor said, adding that he deserves to have people be “extremely upset” with him. Nevertheless, he asked those offended by his remarks to “please forgive” him.

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Prior to releasing the statement, Leonard posted an apology on the church’s sign on Thursday, Feb. 22. It read, “I am sorry for any hurt. I was wrong.”

People reacted to Leonard’s apology in different ways. Some commended him for admitting he was wrong, saying it was a “step in the right direction.” However, others had trouble believing the pastor’s apology is genuine. One person said, “That’s like someone apologizing to me after throwing a cinderblock through my windshield. Apologies ain’t gonna fix my windshield, dude!!!!”