An LGBT legal group has sued a California therapist over efforts to change a lesbian's sexual orientation.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed its lawsuit Thursday in state court in Alameda County. The suit alleges that Berkeley-based therapist Lloyd Wiley over eight years attempted to change the sexual orientation of Katherine McCobb.

“I trusted my therapist, and I was defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars as a result,” said McCobb, who paid Wiley more than $70,000.

According to the lawsuit, Wiley told McCobb that being gay was unnatural and could “change her brain.” Wiley advised McCobb to alter her appearance and begin dating men, in particular a man who was also his client.

NCLR is suing Wiley under two California laws (the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the Unfair Competition Law) that protect consumers from false and misleading claims.

“Therapists who exploit vulnerable people by taking their money based on false claims that being lesbian or gay is unnatural and that counseling can change a person’s sexual orientation are engaging in fraud,” NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter said. “Our complaint alleges that our client in this case paid tens of thousands of dollars based on false promises that therapy could change her attraction to women. Charging a person money based on such bald-faced misrepresentations violates California’s consumer protection laws.”