A Georgia jury found a controversial pastor guilty of eight child molestation-related charges to a sexual relationship with a teenage girl and boy at his church seven years ago.
According to The Florida Times-Union, the male victim came forward last year and said that seven years ago when he was 15, he offered up his girlfriend sexually to Kenneth Adkins, 57. He also testified that Adkins, who was a mentor to both teens, watched them have sex in the church office, at the beach and in Adkins’ car.
However, he insists that the sex was not forced and that Adkins had been good to him and even gave him money. But he stressed that he testified because he doesn’t want other teens to be manipulated by Adkins.
The Brunswick assistant district attorney Katie Gropper argued in court that the male survivor just wanted to be believed.
“He just wanted some validation. All this … is for somebody to believe him.”
While the young man admitted what happened, his girlfriend at the time denies his claims. But it’s important to note that she was living with Adkins and wife up until a few months after the pastor was arrested last year.
Adkins lawyer insisted to the jury that the teens were not 15 but 16, which does not violate the age of consent in Georgia.
“Inspite of being gross, disgusting or vile, it is not a crime,” said Gough.
Gough also tried to paint the young man as a sociopath, a liar and a recently married gay man who was angry with Adkins public anti-LGBTQ sentiments. According to New Now Next, after the Pulse Nightclub shooting last summer, Adkins, who now lives in Jacksonville, Florida, tweeted that he “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!!”
In addition, his lawyer pointed out the victim was upset about a unpaid loan he took out for Adkins a few years ago. But the jury didn’t buy it. Adkins maintains that he is innocent and plans on reapplying for a new trial.
According to Georgia’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws, because Adkins has a prior record, he may spend the rest of his life in prison.