Pastor Robert Litzinger has stepped down from Church for Life leadership over accusations of sexual assault, battery, and harassment.
A woman sued the California church and its former pastors, seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the Santa Maria Times reported Friday.
The lawsuit claims Litzinger used his position as lead pastor to “satisfy his sexual fetishes,” and accused his wife of assisting and encouraging his conduct. The woman claims Litzinger sent her a photo of himself with his wife, with a note saying “just had a great session.”
Court documents state that Litzinger encouraged women to discuss their sex lives with him claiming that doing so made them strong Christian women. He also shared pornography during pre-marriage counseling sessions, told women how to masturbate and urged them to do “whatever their husbands wanted.”
The former pastor and fervent Trump supporter also encouraged brides-to-be to send him sexually explicit photos and shared his own with them, the suit claims.
The woman said the pastor and his wife invited her to their home for a prayer group, where Litzinger groped her. She said other pastors at Church of Life did nothing to address her complaints about Litzinger’s conduct with her between 2014 and 2016.
Cindy Litzinger’s attorneys deny any wrongdoing, and her husband’s attorney say the woman should not be eligible to damages because the statute of limitations had passed, according to the report.