Central Minnesota police chaplain jailed on sex allegation

July 31, 2018

A central Minnesota police chaplain and church pastor is in jail for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a church member while providing counseling.

The 49-year-old chaplain for the Avon Police Department surrendered to authorities Monday and was jailed on suspicion of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with a monthslong relationship he had with a member of the Avon Community Church during the course of ongoing counseling sessions, a statement from the Stearns County Sheriffs Office read.

The man has yet to be charged. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.

The Avon Police Department said Tuesday that it has no comment on the allegations. The department website continues to list the man as its chaplain, a post he has held since 2013.

A church member told police three weeks ago about the alleged relationship, the Sheriffs Office said.

The church member received religious and spiritual guidance from the pastor starting in November, and the relationship was sexual from March until May, according to the Sheriffs Office.

The pastors duties as a chaplain include working with people in crisis and assisting officers either while they patrol or during calls for service.

Paul Walsh 612-673-4482

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