Former pastor of Eagan church charged with criminal sexual conduct against 2 women in congregation

The former pastor of a church in Eagan has been charged with 12 counts of criminal sexual conduct and one count of harassment in connection to events dating back to 2020, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dakota County court.

Bruce Douglas Konold, 61-years-old, of Eagan, who was reported to have worked at the church for around 30 years, is set to appear in court on Oct. 26.

The complaint details accounts from two women, a 20-year-old listed as “Victim 1” and a 30-year-old listed as “Victim 2.”

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: the details contained from the criminal complaint below could be considered to be graphic or disturbing in nature.

Victim 2 reported to police that Konold had offered her a personal assistant position at the church in 2020, according to the complaint. Konold was said to have reached up her shirt while at her home in June 2020, and eventually pressured her for sex in November 2020.

Konold began “begging” Victim 2 to keep quiet and stay at the church, the report continues, and eventually began making suicidal comments when she would reject him.

The complaint concludes that Victim 2 eventually agreed to have sex with Konold in November 2020, including admittance from Konold that they had engaged in sex 15 times until January 2021.

Victim 1 reported her relationship with Konold began in January 2021 when she joined the church. The complaint says Konold told Victim 2 that she needed a father figure, and he wanted to fill that role.

After providing regular “spiritual counseling and guidance” to Victim 2, Konold suggested she stay with him during her March 2021 college break. The complaint says the first sexual-assault-related incident happened during that break.

Victim 1 said she accepted alcohol that Konold offered her, and that it was her first time consuming alcohol.

That night, Konold began touching Victim 1 outside her genitals, according to her account in the complaint. When she tried to leave, Konold allegedly followed her to her bedroom and attempted to coerce her to remove her clothes, but left after she pushed him away multiple times.

Toward the end of the same school year, Konold was said to have suggested Victim 1 move into his home, and got her a cleaning job at the church.

They first engaged in sex in May 2021, and the complaint records Konold’s statement that they had sex over 100 times until December 2021.

Victim 1 said certain incidents did not feel consensual, and Konold began suggesting he’d commit suicide, even saying it may make their problems go away if they both died.

Around that same time, it was said the pastor’s wife approached Victim 1 and suggested she disappear from the church, then texted her in the spring and told Victim 1 to never contact the pastor or his wife.

Victim 2’s statement was dated March 9, 2022. Victim 1’s statement was dated March 11, 2022.

On April 6, police say Victim 1 called them and was unsure she was sexually abused and felt pressured to come forward.

Later that month, Victim 1’s new pastor contacted police saying Konold had been aggressively pursuing Victim 1 by showing up to her work, home, school, using threats of suicide in attempts to continue a sexual relationship.

When police reached back out to Victim 1, she admitted Konold had been harassing her after he found out about the police report, the complaint says. Konold also admitted to being in contact with Victim 1.

Konold’s sermons are accessible on the church website for Eagan Hills as of Sept. 3, 2022, but he is not listed as a pastor there. An interim pastor is listed among church leadership.

In an email, the attorney representing Konold told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, “We will be reviewing the evidence to build our defense. We will fight these charges vigorously.”

Reached for comment via phone, an attorney representing Eagan Hills said the church is “shocked by the allegations that emerged after Konold resigned this past February, and is cooperating fully with the authorities in this matter.”