Home Christian News Former SBC Seminary Administrator Charged With Falsifying Records in DOJ Sexual Abuse...

Former SBC Seminary Administrator Charged With Falsifying Records in DOJ Sexual Abuse Investigation

Matthew Queen
Screengrab via YouTube / @Friendly Avenue Baptist Church

Matthew Queen, a former administrator and professor for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has been charged with falsification of records. The United States Attorney’s Office alleges that Queen sought to cover up a report of sexual abuse that occurred at the Southern Baptist affiliated seminary in 2022. 

The announcement comes amid the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ongoing investigation of Southern Baptist entities. 

Southern Baptist leaders were made aware of the DOJ’s probe in 2022 shortly after the release of a Guidepost Solutions report, which revealed the failures of the denomination’s Executive Committee to properly respond to reports of sexual abuse across a 20-year period. 

RELATED: Survivors Say DOJ Investigation Into SBC Executive Committee Is Not Closed

In a statement released by the United States Attorney’s Office on Tuesday, FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said, “Matthew Queen, an interim Provost, allegedly failed to inform the FBI of a conspiracy to destroy evidence related to the ongoing investigation of sexual misconduct and instead produced falsified notes to investigators.”

“Queen’s alleged actions deliberately violated a court order and delayed justice for the sexual abuse victims,” Smith continued. “The FBI will never tolerate those who intentionally lie and mislead our investigation in an attempt to conceal their malicious behavior.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that shortly after the DOJ opened its investigation, Southwestern Seminary received a report of sexual abuse committed by a student. While an administrator contacted campus police, the incident was not reported to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office further alleges that a seminary employee created a document in January 2023 that described the failure of Southwestern Seminary “to take action regarding the allegation at that time” but that the document was ordered destroyed by a member of the school’s executive staff during a meeting where Queen was present. 

Queen later produced notes that he said were from the meeting but that investigators believe to be falsified. In those notes, Queen stated that the two other seminary employees merely discussed giving the report to another department of the seminary.

While Queen originally told investigators that the notes were written shortly after the meeting in January 2023, he later said that he wrote them in April 2023. Investigators believe Queen “had written the notes following his initial May 2023 interview with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI.”

RELATED: Bruce Frank Running for SBC President With a Focus on a ‘Tenacity With Sexual Abuse Reform’

In a statement also released on Tuesday, Southwestern Seminary said that it “has and will continue to cooperate fully with the DOJ in its investigation of sexual abuse.”