Pastor who called gays 'sinners' after Orlando shooting convicted child molestation - Welcome to Julia Blaise Blog


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Pastor who called gays 'sinners' after Orlando shooting convicted child molestation

A married Baptist pastor, Bishop Kenneth Adkins, who said homosexuals got 'what they deserve' after Omar Mateen massacred 49 people at a Florida gay club has been found guilty of eight charges of abuse against a teenage boy and girl.

In a unanimous decision by a Georgia jury, the pastor of Brunswick was found guilty of molesting two members of his church congregation in 2010.

Since Adkins has a previous criminal history due to drug convictions, because of Georgia's strict sentencing, he may never be a free man, Savannah Now reported.

Adkins, a drug addict-turned-PR boss-turned-preacher, hit the national headlines in the wake of the shootings at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando last year.

'Dear Gays, Go sit down somewhere,' he tweeted the day after the shooting, in which 49 people were killed and many more injured.

'I know y'all want some special attention. Y’all are sinners who need Jesus. This was an attack on America. Been through so much with these Jacksonville homosexuals that I don't see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve!!'

On Monday, a jury felt he got what he deserved. 

Over a week of testimony, they had heard how the victim had been groomed by the firebrand preacher.

The victim, who is not being named, said that Adkins had become a 'father figure' to him after his grandfather died, but that the relationship turned sexual in 2010.

He explained how Adkins had bought him gifts and began calling him and texting him. The preacher had sent him pictures of his penis, the victim said.

Eventually Adkins told the teen that he wanted to watch him have sex with his girlfriend, to make sure he was doing it properly, the court heard.

The preacher then joined the pair in the sex acts, he said. The victim told the court he'd 'lost count' of the times the three had been involved in sexual situations in the church office, in Adkins' car, and at the beach.

The girl in question - who was named in five of the charges Adkins was found guilty of - testified that the events had never happened.

But the prosecution claimed that the girl was under his influence.

'She's in his clutches,' said assistant district attorney Katie Gropper. 'What he has done to that girl is not only criminal, it is deplorable.' 

Most of Adkins' defense was based not on denying the claims made by the victim, but on questioning whether he and the girl were actually 15 at the time, or 16.

Had the pair been 16, they would have been legally capable of consenting to sex with Adkins under Georgia law.

In his closing statements - which took an hour and 20 minutes - defense attorney Kevin Gough told the jury eight times that even if they disliked Adkins, he should not be found guilty of 'hypocrisy'.

'Where is the evidence that any criminal act took place?' he asked. 'It may be awkward at public events, church, if you return an innocent verdict, but be assured, you should not take that into consideration.'

None of Adkins' family - including his ten children were present for any stage of the trial.

Adkins was convicted of two counts of aggravated child molestation, five counts of child molestation, and one count of enticing a child. 

He will be sentenced on April 25.

In the wake of the fallout from his Orlando tweets last year, Adkins had attempted a retraction.

Adkins, who had run a PR company in Florida prior to his time as a firebrand Georgia preacher, claimed that he was speaking only about a Jacksonville group and not gay people in general.

He had come under fire previously for gathering African-American community leaders to change human rights ordinance (HRO) that banned gay discrimination in the city, reported at the time. 

'My tweet was strictly meant for the Jacksonville group that has made my life a living hell since I served on the panel and opposed the HRO,' he said.

Source: Daily Mail

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