(EDGE) A high-ranking California priest is being accused of sexual harassment after allegedly sending sexually explicit pictures of his genitals to a male parishioner, Fox 40 reports.
Monsignor Larry McGovern allegedly texted the risqué pics to the man who was a parishioner with the Church of the Presentation in Stockton, California.
"It's extremely disturbing that the person who is head of this parish would be sending text with photographs of his exposed genitals," the man's attorney Vince Finaldi told Fox 40. He added McGovern also sent the man, who is a pool maintenance contractor for the church, a text message of the priest's private parts in July.
"Someone's who's engaging in that type of conduct has very, very serious credibility issues and issues with judgment," Finaldi told the news station. He said the man confronted McGovern about the photo, and asked him about his celibacy. The man claims the priest allegedly told him "Oh, that just means that you're not married."
Finaldi said the man was fired from his job with the church last week, just days before filing the lawsuit.
The Diocese of Stockton released a statement regarding the allegations.
"Today the Diocese of Stockton learned for the first time of employment related allegations against Monsignor Lawrence McGovern, the Pastor of Presentation Parish in Stockton. In accordance with the Canon Law of the Church, Bishop Stephen Blaire has placed Monsignor McGovern on administrative leave pending a full and complete investigation."
Finaldi and the parishioner want McGovern to be removed from the Church, however.
"That person has no business being in a parish and head of a school where there are numerous young children walking around everyday," Finaldi told Fox 40.
Watch the news station's report on the incident below.