Carl Lentz, Former Hillsong Pastor, Denies Sexual Abuse Allegations

A woman who worked as a nanny for former Hillsong Church pastor Carl Lentz has accused him of sexual abuse, a claim he vehemently denies.

Hillsong Church has become known for its reel of celebrity attendees. It previously counted the likes of Selena Gomez, Bono and the Jenner sisters among its members.

Leona Kimes, who was a pastor at Hillsong Boston, made the allegations in a lengthy essay on Medium, titled "Writing My Voice Back."

She did not name him in the post but she did later confirm to the Religion News Service that she was speaking about Lentz.

In her statement, Kimes said she worked for the family for seven years, cleaning their house, running their errands and taking care of their children.

She claimed the "boundaries between personal and professional blurred early on" and began with her hours increasing significantly. Kimes said she often worked from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

"The sexual abuse started small, too," Kimes continued. "My pastor would look at me and say, 'Gurl, you're looking good. You've been in the gym?' There was a lot of flirty teasing like this."

Kimes wrote that she felt guilty for feeling uncomfortable and questioned if she was the problem.

She went on to allege that Lentz began "crossing more boundaries" over time.

"Like, when I was sitting in the hot tub with the kids, he would get in, positioning himself close to me so his hands could graze my legs," Kimes said.

"Then the physical encounters escalated," she alleged. "While he never had intercourse with me and never kissed me, I was physically violated by his unwanted and repeated sexual touching of my intimate areas. I froze. Every time, I froze."

Kimes listed a number of incidents where she accused Lentz of touching her in a sexual manner. She said one incident took place when she was driving to the doctor and another when she took his children to the cinema.

A legal representative for Lentz and his wife Laura told the Religion News Service they "vehemently deny the allegations and, in addition to that, have irrefutable proof the events did not happen as they are being described."

Newsweek has contacted representatives of Lentz for comment.

The accusations come seven months after Lentz was reportedly fired as a result of "leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures."

A month later he released an Instagram statement, citing that he had been unfaithful in his marriage and was ultimately held accountable for that.

Lentz was a pastor of Hillsong Church
Carl Lentz, formerly senior pastor of Hillsong Church in New York City, visits iHeart Now at Z100 Studio to talk with Elvis Duran on November 20, 2017 in New York City. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images