An Isanti County pastor who participated in a ministry devoted to helping people put their homosexuality behind them has been charged with sexually assaulting two men he was counseling.
Lakeside Christian Church’s senior pastor, the Rev. Ryan J. Muehlhauser, 55, of Cambridge, appeared in court Tuesday on eight felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and remains free pending another hearing next month.
“Remains free.” Just great. None of this surprises me anymore. Not only is there no evidence that “praying away the gay” does any good, it also has a tendency to attract supposedly “cured” gay men a counselors to put them in a position where they can use their authority to take advantage of people in emotionally and psychologically vulnerable positions.
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.
If a grown man wants to cup your balls for “spiritual strength”, I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s not legit. In fact, it sounds like Muehlhauser found a perfect outlet for his own desires while hurting those who were coming to him for help.
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.
You should lose everything for sexually molesting people! Doing it at all is bad enough. Doing it by pretending it’s some kind of holy ritual designed to cure men of something that isn’t actually wrong with them makes it even more unconscionable.