Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, who worked as a nanny to the eight children of home-schooling activist and church leader Doug Phillips, sued him Tuesday in state district court here, claiming he used her as a sex object in a years-long relationship.
Phillips acknowledged an extramarital relationship last fall when he stepped down as president of Vision Forum Ministries, a support organization for the conservative Christian home-schooling community.
Torres-Manteufel, 29, alleged in the suit that their affair began when she was 21 and that Phillips promised to marry her and leveraged his status as her mentor and religious leader to continue the liaison for years after she stopped working for his family in 2008.
When Phillips apologized publicly for his conduct last year, he said it was sinful, “inappropriately romantic and affectionate,” but that the two “did not ‘know’ each other in the Biblical sense.” He clarified his remarks a few days later to say that aspects of their relationship had been physical.
The lawsuit described a series of sexual encounters that stopped short of intercourse. It also named as defendants the ministry and for-profit business he founded, claiming he abused his leadership in both. The business, Vision Forum Inc., sells books, CDs, films, toys and other items for the home-school market.
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