A 55-year-old “ex-gay” pastor from Cambridge, Minnesota has been sentenced for sexually molesting two men.
Police arrested Ryan Jay Muehlhauser in November. In February, he pleaded guilty to two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct. He's been sentenced to 160 days in prison and 10 years of probation and must register as a sex offender, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
Muehlhauser assaulted the men in the course of “curing” them of their unwanted sexual attractions to men.
One of the victims, referred to only as ABC, told investigators that he met Muehlhauser two years ago at an event hosted by Outpost Ministries, a religiously affiliated group which claims gay people can – and should – alter their sexual orientation from gay to straight.
The counseling sessions, ABC told investigators, included Muehlhauser “blessing” him by gently cupping the victim's genitals in his hands. The victim was also asked to masturbate while Muehlhauser prayed over him. Muehlhauser called this “spiritual guidance.”
Judge John McBride chided Muehlhauser.
“Sir, you are a criminal, and these are sexual criminal acts you performed. And what's most egregious about this, is these were young men struggling with their own sexuality and spirituality and you took advantage of both,” he said.