By Rachel Kytonen
An Isanti County pastor who has been serving the community since 1989 has been accused of engaging in sexual contact with a male seeking spiritual counsel.
Ryan Jay Muehlhauser, 55, of Cambridge, was charged by complaint this week with felony, 4th degree criminal sexual conduct. He made his first appearance Tuesday, Nov. 6 before Judge P. Hunter Anderson in Isanti County District Court in Cambridge.
Muehlhauser has been serving as senior pastor at Lakeside Christian Church in Cambridge since January 2012. Prior to that he served as the church’s associate pastor for 22 years.
According to the criminal complaint:
Muehlhauser in his role as a clergy member engaged in sexual contact with a male victim from March 1, 2012, through Nov. 4, 2012, on the church property. The contact occurred at a time when the victim was seeking or receiving religious or spiritual advice, aid or comfort in private.
News of these relations surfaced when a counselor with Outpost Ministries — a group that assists individuals who “want to break away from the gay lifestyle” — reported that two young men he was counseling advised him of sexual activity between them and Muehlhauser.
One of the alleged victims met with authorities Nov. 4 and said Muehlhauser would minister and mentor him, and help him through his “homosexual tendencies.”
The victim said on multiple occasions Muehlhauser would place his hands on his genital area and call the sexual occurrences “blessings.”
In the fall of 2012, the victim recalled another sexual episode that occurred while Muehlhauser prayed with him.
On at least one occasion, Muehlhauser said he didn’t want people to see them because they wouldn’t understand. Muehlhauser also said he would “lose everything” if anyone found out what they were doing together.
The victim said he went along with the acts because Muehlhauser was his minister and spiritual advisor.
Judge Anderson set unconditional bail at $50,000 and conditional bail at $20,000. Muehlhauser’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 12.
A second complaint has been filed in Isanti County District Court that contains more felony charges against Muehlhauser. That complaint wasn’t available as of press time. Visit ecmpostreview.com for updates on this story.