A central Minnesota police chaplain and pastor was charged Tuesday with having a sexual relationship with a married church member while providing counseling to the woman.
Charles N. Pelkey, a chaplain for the Avon Police Department, was charged in Stearns County District Court with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with a monthslong relationship with the woman, a member of the Avon Community Church.
Pelkey was jailed Monday ahead of a court appearance Tuesday.
The Avon Police Department said Tuesday that it has no comment on the allegations. The department website continues to list Pelkey as its chaplain, a post he has held since 2013.
A church member told police three weeks ago about the alleged relationship, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The 36-year-old woman received “religious and spiritual guidance” from the pastor starting in November, and the relationship was sexual from March until May, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Pelkey’s duties as a chaplain include working with people in crisis and assisting officers either while they patrol or during calls for service.
According to the criminal complaint:
The woman told an investigator that she began to receive counseling from Pelkey in his church office “to learn more about God.”
In February, Pelkey began asking her more intimate questions, including about her marriage and children. Late in the month, he moved their sessions to a more secluded spot in the church and revealed his sexual feelings for her. He also began saying things to the woman that she had wished she was hearing from her husband, the complaint stated.
On March 23, they drove to the Rockville County Park, and she performed oral sex on him as they drove away.
On April 11 and May 21, the two had sex at a park-and-ride lot in St. Joseph Township. On May 22, she told him the relationship was over, according to the complaint.