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A San Diego woman is suing her former pastor, who allegedly tricked her into having sex with him as a way to “heal” her post-traumatic stress disorder, and he slapped a lawsuit right back at her by claiming she made their private, graphic communications public as revenge for breaking up with her.


Amy McClanahan was “very vulnerable” when John Wright allegedly singled her out and began a sexual relationship with her that lasted from the fall of 2016 until October the following year. The pastor offered to help heal her PTSD related to childhood sexual abuse, and their private meetings started with holding hands and kissing and eventually progressed into sex, according to her lawsuit.

“He would say it was healing for me, healing my past trauma,” McClanahan said in a recent interview. “I foolishly believed him.”

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Her lawsuit alleges sexual battery, rape, gender violence and sexual harassment, as well as negligent supervision of Wright, who was then a pastor along with his wife at Mid-City Church of the Nazarene, which is also named in the lawsuit. While she admitted that she accepted the pastor’s help, her suit goes on to argue that “in reality Wright was a predator who recognized plaintiff’s vulnerability and took that opportunity to groom and coerce her into a sexual relationship.”

In his counter suit, however, Wright maintains that his sexual relationship with McClanahan was consensual and accuses her of illegally recording confidential information and intentionally inflicting emotional distress. His lawsuit claims McClanahan took a screen shot of a photo of his genitals without his permission and threatened to make it public. He also claims she recorded a conversation with the his wife in which they discussed her relationship with him.

Wright believes she was seeking revenge after he broke things off, but her attorney has said otherwise.

“He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” attorney Dan Gilleon said. “He duped her into thinking he could somehow heal her and she went along with it, and in the process somehow got horribly injured.”

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Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare. Follow her on Twitter @_carlbeck.
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