Muehlhauser, 55, is the senior pastor of Lakeside Christian church and a member of Robbinsdale, MN’s Outpost Ministry, which, according to its website, was formed 30 years ago to “to meet the needs of men and women making the decision to break away from gay life.”
The ministry, unsurprisingly, denounces homosexuality as a sin, though that didn’t keep one of its ministers from (once again, unsurprisingly) suppressing his own homosexuality in a misguided attempt to cure others of theirs.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
One of the men told investigators that Muehlhauser “blessed” him by cupping his genitals outside of his clothing several times and that Muehlhauser asked the man to masturbate in front of him for “spiritual strength.” Muehlhauser would also fondle the man at times. Their encounters occurred over a period of nearly two years.
Another man told investigators of similar encounters spanning most of this year, adding that Muehlhauser feared he would “lose everything” if anyone found out. At one encounter, Muehlhauser fondled the man and then the two joined the pastor’s wife for a dinner outing.
The assaults of the two men occurred at the church, its prayer cabin and at a home belonging to a relative of one of the victims. The criminal complaint made a point to note that “consent by the complainant is not a defense,” given Muehlhauser is a clergy member.
The pastor appeared in court Tuesday on eight felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and remains free pending another hearing next month. Authorities were informed of he alleged assaults by another Outpost counselor after the two victims had confided in him.
In a statement, Lakeside Christian Church said it was “deeply saddened” by the allegations made against Muehlhauser and urged any other potential victims to contact the authorities.
If convicted, Muehlhauser could face up to 10 years in prison for each charge, and a fine of $20,000.