Bishop Kenneth Adkins, 57, of Brunswick, Georgie was convicted this week on several counts of child molestation, and sources say that because of Adkins previous criminal record of drug convictions – he may never see the light again.
Adkins groomed and then molested a teenage boy and his teenage girlfriend several times over the last year. Adkins forced them to have sex in front of him, telling the teens he ‘wanted to make sure’ they were ‘doing it properly’, before joining in on the sex acts themselves.
Adkins had also sent several sexts, including a picture of his genitals, to the boy involved in the case.
Adkins made headlines when he tweeted about the Pulse nightclub shooting – being a pastor and being against homosexuality, he wrote that he celebrated the deaths of all those people. He said ‘they got what they deserved’ that night.
It took a week of testimony from the teenagers for the jury to see just how deep this went. Adkins, in a position of power and influence as a pastor in the community used that power to take advantage of teenagers who clearly did not know what to do in this situation.
The Daily Mail has more:
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, News4Jax reported. 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.