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Pastor And Ex-Gay Counselor Charged With Sexually Assaulting Male Clients

Rev. Ryan J. Muehlhauser, a pastor in Minnesota who purportedly helped people pray away the gay, has been charged with sexually assaulting two men he was counseling.

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.

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Nov 9, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 7 Comments
    • EdWoody
      EdWoody

      I’m stunned. Just stunned. “Stunned” is the only way to describe how… stunned I am.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 9:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NateB79
      NateB79

      Just a minute, just a minute EdWoody. Are you trying to tell us, that you are stunned?

      Nov 9, 2012 at 10:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

      REAL hetrosexuals don’t spend a lot of time thinking about gays. The people that are incredibly homophobic or form groups like this, or cures like Michelle Bachman’s husband Marcus are all gay.

      It is only gay closet cases that spend this much time worrying about homosexuality.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken
      Ken

      As a clergyman, I would like to say that it is true that consent by the complainant is not a defense, but this applies to any relationship in which one person has authority or power over the other.

      The fact that the perpetrator was a minister makes it even more scandalous and contemptible; but in this case, it his role as the man’s counselor that is legally relevant, because he had the ability to convince his client, explicitly or implicitly, that his sexual behavior was part of the therapy. Even if the complainant gave consent, it was not free consent. It doesn’t even matter if the counselor’s actions were unintentional, because the counselor has the duty to know better. It is not possible to defend oneself on the grounds that the activity took place outside the professional relationship, because for this purpose, there is no such thing as “off duty.”

      Things at that are routine between two friends can be an abuse of power if they are between a counselor and a therapist, a minister and a parishioner, a commander and a soldier or any situation where one is in authority over the other. Because is often hard to see the boundary line and easy to wander over it, most denominations require clergy to attend annual training so they can avoid it. For example, we are trained that if we are in danger of falling in love with a member of the congregation, we must either terminate the relationship or ask the church member to join and attend a different church. If we counsel a person of the opposite sex, we need to have someone nearby who cannot hear a normal conversation, but could attest whether there were loud protests. If we are in a room alone with a child, the door must be open, and male minister cannot be alone in the building with a female parishioner. Youth groups have to be led by two adults of opposite sexes who are not married to each other.

      Ministers of independent congregations that answer to no higher ecclesiastical authority often don’t have these resources.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Niall
      Niall

      Who wants to bet he’s a Republican?

      Nov 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kw
      kw

      @Ken: What a pitiful endictment of society, and the state of the church in particular, that there needs to be such a set of rules for ministering t other people. I shouldn’t be surprised at the church though – any organisation that maintains its power by threats and intimidation has already lost any moral authority. I just wish that it could be brought to trial for its crimes as easily as this man. Nevertheless, I am grateful to him for continuing to reveal the church for the hypocritical cesspool that it actually is.

      Nov 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JOHN 1957
      JOHN 1957

      Not again. Another one bites the dust.

      Nov 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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