ST. CLOUD -- A former pastor in Avon who pleaded guilty to having an illegal relationship with a parishioner has been sentenced to two years of supervised probation.

Back in August, 50-year-old Charles Pelkey pleaded guilty to one count of 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct.

According to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, Avon Police contacted them about a sexual assault investigation where they had a conflict of interest. Avon's Police got a tip from a parishioner of the Avon Community Church that Pelkey was having a sexual relationship with a parishioner while providing her counseling.

Records show the counseling started in November 2017, and in March 2018, Pelkey started a sexual relationship with the victim. The relationship continued until May when the woman ended it.

Minnesota law prohibits clergy from engaging in a sexual act -- with someone being counseled -- during the course of any counseling, by law, consent is not considered a defense.

Terms of the probation includes remaining law-abiding, therapy, no contact with the victim, and to not possess any sexually explicit materials.

The conflict of interest arose because Pelkey was the Avon Police Chaplain at the time of the initial report.


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