Yikes. A Minnesota ex-gay minister has been charged with eight felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct after allegedly molesting two men who had come to him for counseling in an effort to "put their homosexuality" behind them over the course of two years.
More after the jump.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the minister, 55-year-old Ryan J. Muelhauser is a married, senior pastor at Lakeside Christian Church.
Muehauser counsels men through Outpost Ministries, which, according to its website, was founded more than 30 years ago to help men and women "break away from gay life" and declares that "all homosexual behavior is sin."
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, referencing the criminal complaint, writes:
"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.' Muelhauser 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 Muelhauser being a clergy member."
Yeesh. There's a wolf in the flock.
Clearly these men were already coming from a damaged place (hello, ex-gay therapy), but to have a clergy member who they're trusting to "release them from sin" take advantage of them in that way...
We're thinking more therapy is going to be in order. Let's just make it the non-quackery type this time.
Muehauser could face up to 10 years in prison for each charge and a $20,000 fine.
Image Source (H/T: Huff Po)