St. Louis, MO- A lawsuit filed earlier this week alleges the former Reverend of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Louis sexually harassed one of the church’s female ministers.

The suit alleges Reverend Fredrick McCullough shamelessly groped one of associate female ministers and almost sexually assaulted her during his two years at the ministry.

Brenda Jones, the plaintiff in the case said in her suit McCullough touched her inappropriately on a numerous occasions, once showed her pictures of his penis on his cell phone. He also remarked that he like older women and said he was “going to get [him] some of that pussy,” the Riverfront Times reported.

One particular incident, which occurred in September of 2012, was troubling and almost led to a sexual assault. In her lawsuit Jones said she went into the Reverend’s office and he grabbed her, forcibly bent her over his desk and proceeded to hike up her skirt. Jones managed to escape.

Jones reported the sexual harassment through a written complaint which launched a three month investigation. Reverend McCullough was allowed to keep his post at the church and Jones alleges he berated her in a number of his sermons.

The investigation accused McCullough of sexually harassing another woman who was not named in the Jones’ lawsuit.

The suit also alleges that the church knew McCullough sexually harassed women in Georgia and Nebraska. He also allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a minor woman, but the church hired him anyway and didn’t report the incident to police.

Jones said the church labeled her as a devil in meeting late last year.

“The unspoken message for women and especially female preachers has been that we must either accept the sexual harassment…or risk being being expelled,” Jones said in written statement obtained by the RFT. “I am fighting this because it has to stop.”

The attorney represent McCullough says he denies the allegations and will aggressively fight the allegations.

Jones named several defendants in her suit including the the national African Methodist Episcopal Church, the 5th Episcopal District of the AME Church, the Wayman Church and Reverend McCullough. She did not ask for a specific settlement amount.

Jones experienced what many women do when they report incidents of sexual harassment; they are treated hostilely and are not taken seriously. Despite what many people think, most sexual harassment lawsuits are not frivolous nor are they easy to initiate.

Victims of harassment must be able to prove the harassment was pervasive and repeated to even have the grounds to file a lawsuit. So individuals who are sexually harassed look at lawsuits as the most effective way to hold employers and harassers accountable for the abuse they endured.

Sexual harassment can be difficult to prove so the victim needs to retain a practiced sexual harassment attorney. An attorney who specializes in employment law has the skills necessary to thoroughly investigate the harassment allegations and ensure your lawsuit is successful.