Ryan Muehlhauser, Cambridge pastor, allegedly sexually abused men seeking ex-gay therapy
|Muehlhauser's church issued a statement expressing sadness about the allegations and asking any other victims to contact authorities.|
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Muehlhauser, a pastor at Lakeside since 1989, is accused of sexually assaulting the men at least eight times from 2010 through October 31 of this year.
The two alleged victims were taking counseling through Outpost Ministries, an organization that works with men and women trying to "break away from the gay lifestyle," according to its website.
From the Isanti County News:
One of the alleged victims met with authorities Nov. 4 and said Muehlhauser would minister and mentor him, and help him through his "homosexual tendencies."KARE provides more details about victim one's allegations:
[Victim one] said on multiple occasions Muehlhauser would place his hands on his genital area and call the sexual occurrences "blessings."...
On at least one occasion, Muehlhauser said he didn't want people to see [he and victim two together] because they wouldn't understand. Muehlhauser also said he would "lose everything" if anyone found out what they were doing together.
[Victim two] said he went along with the acts because Muehlhauser was his minister and spiritual advisor.
Muehlhauser asked the victim to arouse himself in front of him and called it, the victim said, "spiritual strength."After being arrested, charged, and making his first court appearance Tuesday, KARE reports that Muehlhauser posted bail and was back at home on Lakeside's property yesterday evening. His next court appearance is scheduled for December 12.
The victim also reported that Muehlhauser would have him strip naked for more "spiritual guidance" and have him masturbate while Muehlhauser prayed over him.
Each of the eight charges Muehlhauser faces carries a maximum of ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Assistant Isanti County Attorney Stacy St. George told the Isanti County News that prosecutors will seek a stiff penalty.
"Mr. Muehlhauser preyed on these young men during a time when they've been rejected by their friends, family and religion," St George said. "These young men trusted him with their deepest thoughts and vulnerable feelings and the defendant used his power to sexually abuse them for two years."