By Sarah Smith
A former top Southern Baptist missionary pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury in a case that his missionary organization knew about nearly 11 years before it was reported to police.
Mark Aderholt was charged in Tarrant County in July 2018 with sexual assault of a child under 17 and two counts of indecency with a child by contact in the assault of Anne Marie Miller, who went public with her story in July 2018.
Aderholt entered his plea barely a month after the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala. The meeting was dominated by discussions of reforms relating to sexual abuse after a Houston Chronicle investigation revealed a widespread pattern of sexual misconduct in Southern Baptist churches.
The International Mission Board, Aderholt’s old employer, is still working on a study into how it handles abuse by missionaries — a study provoked by Miller’s case.
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