A lawsuit against controversial First AME Church Rev. John J. Hunter claims that he pressured a subordinate for on-demand sex as "God's will."
Rev. Brenda Lamothe, who now works for the office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, says in a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court that the married pastor pressured her for sexual "comfort" as a way to fulfill her church duties.
The relationship began in 2005 and, according to the lawsuit, Lamothe was soon coerced into providing sex on-demand as part of her job. She states in the suit that Hunter called her his "everything."
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"Years of intense sexual pressure, abuse and harassment have extracted
a heavy toll on Reverend Lamothe," states her attorney, Solomon E.
Gresen. "She has endured extreme mental anguish and emotional distress
as a result of her treatment by Hunter, and has been effectively
banished from a church she has worked for since 1997."
Lamothe says she met Hunter for sexual trysts at hotels in Burban, Van Nuys, Glendale and Manhattan Beach. She says Hunter even trailed her to her vacation spots in Virginia and South Carolina in order to have sex with her.
After getting hired on fulltime at Villaraigosa's office, the suit states, she summoned the courage to deny Hunter's advances and, as a result, she claims, she was fired from parttime duties at First AME in June. Her attorneys have not yet indicated what damages would be sought.
First AME is one of the most powerful African-American institutions west of the Mississipi River and has hosted countless presidents and dignitaries. It's a most-stop for office seekers locally, statewide and nationally. When Hunter arrived five years ago to take the helm of the church he had to fill the big shoes of Rev. Cecil L. Murray.
He ran into trouble though, admitting that he used a church credit card for about $122,000 in personal charges, including vacation expenditures.