Amy McClanahan, a 23-year-old woman who alleged that John Wright, a highly rated theology professor and a pastor in California, coerced her into sex to heal her of post-traumatic stress disorder, said he made her have sex with him "hundreds of times" mostly in the church.
Wright, however, has hit back at McClanahan, alleging in his own counter suit, according to 10 News, that she harassed him and his wife, Kathy, when he tried ending their consensual relationship. She also illegally took photos of his genitalia and recorded private conversations between them.
Her "outrageous" behavior alleges Wright has caused him, emotional, professional and economic harm and he has also been forced into therapy as a result of her actions. He is now seeking, among other things, special and general damages.
McClanahan, who is asking the court to award her special, general and punitive damages as well as other penalties for Wright, argues in her recently published lawsuit that Wright manipulated her for his personal pleasure under the guise of counseling and healing.
She alleges that soon after meeting Wright, who was her professor at Point Loma Nazarene University in 2014, she confided in him that she had been sexually abused for a number of years by a close family member and felt she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She said the pastor offered to counsel her and invited her to his church — Mid City Church of the Nazarene in San Diego.
"I took a class from him and he offered up that I could come to his church," McClanahan told 10 News. "I looked up to him and he was someone I wanted to be like."
When she began working at the church in 2016 as a camp counselor, she said Wright began sending her emails with daily invitations to parks and coffee shops. She accepted and "he would want to hold hands while we were talking and I was kind of 'weirded out' but I thought it was okay because he was my pastor," she explained.
Wright soon kissed her and eventually started a sexual relationship with her, which he allegedly said would heal her of her wounds from sexual abuse.
"Over the course of the relationship, Wright coerced A.M. to have sexual intercourse with him hundreds of times among other sexual contacts. Most of the sexual encounters occurred at various locations inside the Church, in cars, and at both of their residences. The predatory sexual relationship that Wright had coerced A.M. into was always within the context of 'healing' A.M.'s PTSD from her childhood sexual trauma," the lawsuit says.
"He's a wolf in sheep's clothing," McClanahan's attorney, Dan Gilleon, told 10 News. "He duped her into thinking he could somehow heal her and she went along with it and in the process [she] somehow got horribly injured."
Wright and his wife currently have temporary restraining orders out against McClanahan, who they argue illegally recorded the pastor and professor without his knowledge.
In one recording highlighted by 10 News, a man, whom McClanahan identifies as Wright, is heard apologizing repeatedly and saying, "I thought I was healing you."
Point Loma Nazarene University is currently conducting an investigation into the relationship and has suspended Wright. McClanahan is also suing Church of Nazarene in Mid-City for negligently hiring and supervising John Wright. It is unclear if he is still a pastor there. But he is currently not listed as a pastor on the church website and the church did not return calls for comment.