REPORTS this week of the arrest of Rev Ryan J Muelhauser, senior pastor at Lakeside Christian Church in Isanti, Minnesota, on charges of sexually abusing two boys all claim that he was connected to OutPost Ministry, an anti-gay outfit established to help free people from the “sin” of homosexuality.
But Outpost is now saying on its website:
Outpost Ministries is deeply grieved over the allegations regarding Ryan Muehlhauser. Outpost fundamentally stands against sexual abuse and exists, in part, to minister to those who have been wounded by such violence.
Ryan is not and has never been a member of Outpost staff nor was he a pastor to whom we referred clients. We continue to stand with the two young men who experienced this atrocity and we desire to help them in any way we are able. Our sorrow and our prayers go out to all who have been sexually violated.
Muelhauser was charged with eight felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving the two young men.
The senior pastor at Lakeside within Isanti Township allegedly fondled the young men who were seeking a “cure” for their gay tendencies, as well as asking them to masturbate for him.
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”.
The encounters reportedly occurred over a period of nearly two years.
At the hearing Isanti County Assistant Attorney Stacy St. George told the court:
There is nothing more predatory than taking two individuals whose faith and whose trust is put into their minister and their spiritual leader and then abusing them in the name of the Lord.
The very predatory nature is what makes Mr Muehlhauser dangerous to the public. He preyed on the vulnerability of these men who are so confused and have turned to him in a time that they have been rejected by their family, their friends and by their religion.
They asked him to assist him, they trusted him with their most deepest and vulnerable feelings, and he used that power to sexual abuse them for upwards of two years.
If convicted, the pastor could face up to 10 years in prison for each charge, and a fine of $20,000.