Remember when anti-gay Pastor Kenneth Adkins tweeted that the Pulse nightclub shooting victims “got what they deserved?” On Tuesday he was found guilty of sexually abusing minors at a courthouse in Brunswick, Ga.
The Atlantic Journal-Constitution reports the jury found the man and his acts so repellent it took them only an hour to convict him on eight counts of child molestation. And that came after Kenneth Adkins’ attorney, Kevin Gough cautioned the jury not to take this into account.
“Where is the evidence that any criminal act took place? It may be awkward at public events, church, if you return an innocent verdict, but (be) assured, you should not take that into consideration.”
The Baptist minister was accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy and his girlfriend back in 2010. According to AJC:
Adkins watched the teens have sex in his church office, at the beach and in his car. The male accuser also told authorities he had offered up his girlfriend sexually to Adkins, who was 50 at the time.
The Florida Times-Union adds that because of Georgia’s strict mandatory minimum sentencing laws and Kenneth Adkins’ prior record, “there’s a possibility he will never again be a free man.”
Assistant District Attorney Katie Gropper said all the accuser wanted was for somebody to believe him.
The young man, a specialist in the Army stationed at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, came forward a year ago and told the military about his past life with his girlfriend and Adkins. He admitted offering up his girlfriend sexually to Adkins seven years ago, when he and the girl were 15 and Adkins was 50. He said the sex was never forced, and that Adkins had been a good man to him, providing him with money and support. But he also said he didn’t want Adkins to be able to do the same with other underage youth. The age of consent in Georgia is 16.
The accuser’s former girlfriend denies any of this happened. Yet Katie Gropper argued that Kenneth Adkins had been grooming the couple while he was supposedly mentoring them.
“She’s in his clutches. What he has done to that girl is not only criminal, it is deplorable.”
Other lurid testimony included:
The male accuser told the jury last week that Adkins watched them have sex so many times that he lost track. He said the sex occurred in the church office, at the beach and in Adkins’ car. The male, according to testimony presented during the trial, initially told an Army investigator that his girlfriend was 16 and he was 15 when the activity first began. On the witness stand, the young man said his then-girlfriend was 15.
D.A.: Kenneth Adkins was grooming the young couple for sexual abuse.
The two teens appeared to have both been vulnerable and on their own. The girl lived with Kenneth Adkins and his wife until shortly after his arrest. As for the young man, he borrowed several thousand from Adkins, who had power of attorney over his money. At one point, he went to his commissary and found his bank account had been emptied.
He told the court explicit photos and texts were exchanged and the three of them also had oral sex with each other. By that time the couple had turned 16, the age of consent in Georgia. Kenneth Adkins, a former drug addict and publicist who runs three churches, told the courtroom the photos and texts “were bad decisions. I cannot justify any of that.”
Oddly, the young man said Kenneth Adkins had never forced him to do anything, Katie Gropper asked why he did it, then. His answer was heartbreaking.
“I don’t know why I did it. It just happened. I respected him, like my dad. At that point I’d do anything to keep him around so he wouldn’t leave me.”
Kenneth Gough, the defense attorney, insisted that the accuser had altered the time frame for the “sexual events” to get Kevin Adkins slapped with charges of molesting minors. In his timeline, he insisted the sexual activity didn’t take place until the couple had turned 16. Gough also implied the accuser was motivated by money and revenge for the tweet about the Pulse nightclub.
And the evidence for why a young man would want to relive so much pain just to avenge an anti-gay mass murder on a middle-aged man who condoned it but didn’t commit it? He just happens to be gay and married to a man.
Kevin Adkins remained expressionless as the jury delivered their verdict. His lawyer has vowed to file an appeal.
Here’s the news report from News4 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Featured image: Video screengrab via News4Jax with Kenneth Adkins’ tweet added.