Patch [Minneapolis ,MN]
September 6, 2022
By William Bornhoft
The pastor’s wife told a woman to “never show her face again at the church and to disappear completely,” according to police.
The former pastor of Eagan Hills Church has been charged in the sexual assault of two women, according to documents filed in Dakota County court.
Bruce Douglas Konold, 61, of Eagan faces 12 counts of criminal sexual conduct and one count of harassment.
The specific charges include:
- Harassment (Pattern of Stalking Conduct)
- Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 3rd Degree (Clergy) (Ongoing Meeting for Advice)
- Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 3rd Degree (Prohibited Occupational Relationship)
Under Minnesota law, it is a felony for religious clergy to have sexual relations with a person who is not their spouse while providing that person with spiritual guidance.
If convicted, Konold faces up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
Konold was pastor of the church for 30 years, authorities said. He resigned in February, the Pioneer Press reported.
A 20-year-old woman began attending his church in 2021, according to police. Konold began inviting the woman to his Eagan home regularly, and at one point told her that “he knew she needed a father figure and that he would like to be that for her,” the criminal complaint states.
During the woman’s college break, Konold invited her to stay at his house, according to investigators.
He gave her several alcoholic drinks, police said. She was underage and had never drunk alcohol before, according to the criminal complaint.
Konold followed her into her bedroom and tried to get her clothes off, but he eventually stopped, police said. Later that year, Konold began “regularly engaging in sex acts” with the woman, who said “certain incidents that didn’t feel consensual,” according to the criminal complaint.
After the acts began, Konold would often talk of suicide and carried his gun with him, police said. At one point, told the woman, “what if we both just died and that would take care of it,” investigators said.
According to the criminal complaint, in March of 2022, Konold’s wife texted the woman and said “Bruce told me everything. I already knew lots of it. His phone is shut off and he will no longer respond to you. I suggest you find someone to help you through this. Do not contact me or MY husband.”
Police said that Konold carried engaged in illegal sexual contact with another woman — who was 30 and was married —between November 2020 and January 2021. During that time period, Konold expressed concerns about the church supporting the women’s ongoing mission work, according to investigators.
According to the criminal complaint, Konold told her “it was not right that they continue to support an adulteress” and quoted a Bible verse regarding adulterous women being “stoned.”