Skip to main content

Central Minnesota pastor turns himself in on criminal sexual conduct charge

He was the pastor at a church in Avon, Minnesota.

A pastor in Stearns County has turned himself into police and is facing a criminal sexual conduct charge. 

A member of the Avon Community Church reported to the Avon Police Department on July 11 that Pastor Charles Norman Pelkey, 49, was having a sexual relationship with a parishioner whom he was providing religious and spiritual guidance. 

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office investigated and learned that the parishioner received family counseling from Pelkey in 2012, and then reached out to Pelkey again in 2017 for religious, spiritual and marital advice. 

In March of this year Pelkey started a sexual relationship with the parishioner and it continued through May, all the while Pelkey was providing counseling, the sheriff's office says. 

Minnesota law does not allow clergy to engage in a sexual relationship with individuals they are providing counseling, and consent from the victim is not a defense.

Pelkey turned himself in and is currently jailed on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.

At the time of the report, Pelkey was the chaplain for the Avon Police Department, so the department referred the investigation to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office to avoid any conflict of interest. 

Pelkey is not listed as a pastor on the Avon Community Church website

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 2.47.44 PM

Minneapolis' Khâluna named in Eater's 2022 'Best New Restaurants'

The restaurant, opened in 2021, is known for its Laotian cuisine.

ambulance, crash

3 pedestrians struck by drivers Monday in Minnesota; 2 dead

The victims involved a 39-year-old man and two 74-year-old men.

snow, plow

Shifting storm tracks: Significant storms Friday, next week?

Sven Sundgaard has the details on an interesting forecast.

Life Link

Worker suffers serious injury in rooftop fall in rural Minnesota

The man only fell a few feet, but suffered a serious leg injury.

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota reports massive projected budget surplus of $17.6 billion

The huge surplus comes as the DFL prepares to assume a trifecta of the Legislature and the Governor's House.


Boil water advisory issued for part of Minneapolis after water main break

The main break caused significant flooding in an area of North Minneapolis Monday evening.


Deals struck between nursing union and hospitals, potentially averting strike

A strike was scheduled to start on Dec. 11 if a deal was not reached.

Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Make the Most of your Solar Panels with Energy Storage

Solar energy is great during the day, but what happens when the sun goes down?

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 7.34.26 AM

Man dies after shooting on St. Paul's East Side

It happened on the same night a man was fatally shot by police in the nearby Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.


St. Cloud man charged over criminal sexual conduct with runaway girl

The criminal complaint says the St. Cloud man admitted to the crime.

Steven Dale Row

Paynesville man facing criminal sexual conduct charge is missing

Police have asked the public if they might know where he is.

2 Gopher athletes jailed on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct

Two wresters were reportedly arrested on Saturday night.

Isanti County pastor charged with criminal sexual conduct

Ryan Jay Muehlhauser, 55, is charged with felony, fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving young men seeking spiritual advise at the Lakeside Christian Church in Isanti Township, ECM Publishers reports. Muehlhauser has worked at the church for more than 22 years.

Screen Shot 2019-11-27 at 6.19.25 AM

Mega church pastor resigns amid sex misconduct investigation

Rev. Wes Feltner had been placed on leave after allegations he manipulated young women 17 years ago.

Berean Baptist Church

Burnsville mega church pastor on leave amidst sex abuse investigation

Two women say Rev. Wes Feltner manipulated them while he was a youth pastor at another church.

sean patrick masopust

Charges: Pastor sexually abused 17-year-old youth group member

He has since been fired from the church, charges state.