Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : 'High Priestess' Files Complaint

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The leader of a church with sexual intercourse as an integral part of its rituals has filed a complaint to force the Los Angeles County Parks Department to take her back as a volunteer at the Placerita Nature Center, it was announced Tuesday.

Mary Ellen Tracy, high priestess of the Canyon Country-based Church of the Most High Goddess, was asked last year to discontinue her volunteer work as a docent at the Newhall nature center. Park officials said publicity surrounding her was hurting the park and upsetting some parents of schoolchildren who had field trips scheduled there.

Tracy, who has been convicted of prostitution in connection with the church, said she filed a complaint with the state Secretary of Resources Agency accusing the county of "religious discrimination" and asking that the county, which operates Placerita, accept her back as a volunteer.

Frank Hovore, natural areas administrator at Placerita Canyon, said that since Tracy was a volunteer and was never hired, she could not have been fired.

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