The allegations of former Hillsong NYC staffer Carl Lentz’s bullying, abuse of power, and sexual abuses have been made public. Leona Kimes has accused him of sexually molesting her on many occasions when she was a nanny in his house for seven years. According to the victim, this happened while she worked as their nanny from 2011-2018 with up to 19 hours spent at home each day.
“While there were joyful moments during that time, no one knew that I also experienced a great deal of pain,” in a Medium post. “During the years I spent serving them, I was subjected to manipulation, control, bullying, abuse of power, and sexual abuse. Having told almost no one before this, I am just now able to share what I experienced in their home as the result of intense therapy.”
“I was physically violated by his unwanted and repeated sexual touching of my intimate areas,” she said.
When allegations surfaced from a former staff member, the church’s legal counsel responded with an official statement that read: “The Lentzes vehemently deny the allegations and have irrefutable proof-the events did not happen as they are being described.” This is only one of many instances where problems have arisen for this multinational church founded in Australia.
Laura Lentz reportedly learned of her husband’s alleged inappropriate conduct by 2016, and Kimes said that the couple discussed this problem with her.
“I was blamed and silenced,” Kimes said in her statement. “I was the problem.”
Repeatedly, she placed the responsibility on herself for the harassment.
“I would leave church on Sunday full of shame after hearing his sermon. I would think it was all my fault, only to get a flood of messages from him that afternoon,” she said.
The Lentzes spoke with Kimes again in 2017 to discuss the problem.
“He took full responsibility for taking advantage of me and putting me in a situation that was so heavy for me,” said Kimes of Carl.
Lentz described the situation as “emotionally exhausting.” He has even contemplated confessing to the leaders but concluded it wasn’t necessary after talking it through with his wife. They promised to set boundaries for her, which seems like a good idea considering they’ve had minimal success in getting Lentz’s wife help and rehabilitation before now. The tone of voice should be informed about what’s going on without being judgemental or accusatory toward any one person involved – all parties have their own perspective and sticking points that need time spent working out rather than cutting oneself off from everyone else entirely because potential solutions are unclear at this point.
Josh was recruited as an assistant pastor at Hillsong NYC in 2013, the same year their family moved to Boston. Leona’s husband had no idea of her struggles with Carl or that she only wanted to talk about it privately for fear he would be fired from his job.
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