A Midwest pastor has been charged with sexually assaulting two male clients he was counseling to help them 'escape their homosexual tendencies'
Rev. Ryan J. Muehlhauser, who had served as the senior pastor of the Lakeside Christian Church in Cambridge, Minnesota, was charged with eight felony counts on Tuesday for fondling and initiating sexual contact with the young adults as he conducted therapy for their gay tendencies.
The married, father-of-two allegedly instructed one client to strip naked and masturbate in front of the pastor and another client claims Muehlhauser regularly placed his hands on the young man's genitals during counseling sessions, calling the contact 'blessings.'
The abuse allegedly occurred as Muehlhauser worked as a counselor with Outpost Ministries, a 30-year-old organization that counsels 'men and women making the decision to break away from gay life.'
As a counselor, the 55-year-old regularly taught at retreats and conducted individual sessions, where the assaults are said to have occurred.
The alleged abuse occurred on separate occasions between October 2010 through October 2012 and between March 2012 to November, with another client.
One of the victims told police that he went along with the acts because Muehlhauser was his minister and spiritual adviser.
The two male victims reported the incidents to another counselor at Outpost, who informed police on November 2.
Muehlhauser was arrested on November 4 and formerly charged on November 6 with eight counts of felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, at the Isanti County Government Center.
'As a church, we are deeply saddened by the report by certain inappropriate behaviors during counseling sessions by one of our pastors, Ryan Muehlhauser,' Lakeside Christian Church said in a statement.
The church has taken Muehlhauser's name off their website, as did the Christian counseling organization.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment