By Jana Shortal
Cambridge, MN (KARE) - A Minnesota pastor is accused of sexually assaulting men while counseling them.
In Cambridge, Minnesota, crime is often something that happens someplace else.
"A case such as this is really kind of a cannonball through the community," said attorney Jeffrey Edblad.
On Sunday night, the pastor of Lakeside Christina Church was arrested and later charged with eight felony counts of criminal sexual conduct. The allegations are that Pastor Ryan Jay Muehlhauser assaulted two men at least eight times while counseling them about their sexual orientation.
"To seek comfort and advice and help, to address the pain they were experiencing only to have them experience a more horrific type of pain, sadness," said Edblad.
Investigators say victim one, referred to in charging documents as ABC, told police about the assaults last Friday. He claimed he met Muehlhauser two years ago at an event held by Outpost Ministries.
On its website, Outpost Ministries says it works with men and women trying to break away from the gay lifestyle.
Victim ABC said in counseling sessions Muehlhauser "blessed" him by cupping his genitals outside of his clothing several times and that Muehlhauser asked the victim to arouse himself in front of him and called it, the victim said, "spiritual strength."
The victim also reported that Muehlhauser would have him strip naked for more "spiritual guidance" and have him masturbate while Muehlhauser prayed over him.
These allegations span more than two years time, a fact not lost on the county prosecutor.
Muehlhauser is not in custody.
He declined to comment when approached by reporters Wednesday night.