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- The suit prompted a major newspaper investigation into Southern Baptist sexual abuse and seven other men to come forward with allegations against Paul Pressler, an influential conservative activist and former Texas judge.

- Rollins said weaponized religious language to justify his predations — were so traumatizing that he unconsciously developed a sort of Stockholm syndrome that, coupled with the drug and alcohol addictions he blamed on the trauma, made it impossible to recognize himself as a victim until decades had passed.

Thus, Rollins argued, his statute of limitations should have begun when he realized he had been abused, rather than when the last assault occurred. His lawsuit was initially dismissed on statute grounds. But Rollins appealed and, eventually, had the dismissal overturned by the Texas Supreme Court, which agreed with Rollins’ arguments. The court’s opinion was a major victory for sexual abuse victims and their advocates, who have for years pointed to research that shows child sexual trauma can remap developing brains and make it difficult for many survivors to come forward until after their 50th birthday, and after their standing to file lawsuits has elapsed.

Rollins’ lawsuit also uncovered a 40-year pattern of alleged abuses by Pressler. As part of the suit, a former member of Pressler’s youth group said in a sworn affidavit that Pressler molested him in 1977 while the two were in a sauna at the country club in Houston’s tony River Oaks neighborhood. The man was entering his sophomore year in college at the time; Pressler, meanwhile, was a youth pastor at a Presbyterian church in Houston. He was ousted from that position in 1978 after church officials received information about “an alleged incident,” according to a letter introduced into the court file. Soon after, Pressler ramped up his involvement in Southern Baptist life.

Rollins said Pressler began sexually abusing him not long after. He said the rapes continued on and off for nearly a quarter-century, often while he was working as Pressler’s aide.