A 55-year-old “ex-gay” pastor in Cambridge, Minnesota has been arrested and charged with sexually molesting two men.

Police arrested Ryan Jay Muehlhauser on Sunday night and later charged him with eight felony counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Muehlhauser allegedly 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, went to police on Friday.

He said the 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.

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.”

“You have a defendant who spends a significant amount of time working with and grooming victims, these are often cases that take place over a period of months and years. They don't happen in a vacuum,” Isanti County Attorney Jeffrey Edblad said.

A second victim made similar allegations.

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