Please see Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Ken Adkins Turns Down Plea Deal and Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Ken Adkins Found Guilty of Sexual Molestation and Black Collar Crime: Convicted Child Molester Ken Adkins Says He’s Innocent for further information on Adkins and his crimes.
Ken Adkins, pastor of Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship in Brunswick, Georgia, was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison today for eight counts of child sexual molestation. Florida Times-Union reporter Eileen Kelley wrote:
The fate of controversial pastor Kenneth Adkins has been decided. Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett sentenced him to 35 years in prison for eight counts of child molestation.
Prior to becoming a pastor in Brunswick, the 57-year-old spent many years in Jacksonville as a public relations and political consultant, raising the ire of many when he called gays sinners and attacked his critics on social media with crude anti-gay rhetoric and cartoons.
At 9:35 a.m. Tuesday, Adkins walked into a courtroom a very different-looking man. Gone were his tailored suits he wore during his trial. Gone was his confident and pleasant-looking face. Instead, a handcuffed Adkins emerged in a forest green jail-issued jumpsuit. His hands clasped a Styrofoam cup of coffee. His face sullen.
Moments later he learned the state wanted the judge to follow strict interpretations of Georgia law that would mandate that Adkins receive the maximum sentence with no chance of parole because of his past convictions in Florida. At a minimum, that maximum would be life plus 30 years. Scarlett called for a recess at 9:50 a.m. and headed into chambers with a stack of paperwork detailing Adkins’ various prison and jail sentences.
Adkins, a former drug addict, has been arrested dozens of times in Florida, the last time was in the early 1990s. After the judge said he was not taking into account his past record because he did not have the indictments and other information about the crimes, Adkins rose and spoke in court for the first time. He said prior to being arrested in August on the molestation charges, the biggest battle he faced was to change the life he was living as a crack addict. Now, he said, he’s facing an even bigger demon.
“We’ve been in this community for 10 years and we’ve worked hard,” Adkins said.
Adkins told the judge that through his ministry he stressed to never allow a moment in time to define a whole person.
“Most certainly I did not do the things I am accused of,” he said. “… I did not do it, yet I respect the jury’s decision.”
By 10:45 a.m. Scarlett made his decision. The 35 years was for aggravated child molestation while he was sentenced to 20 for child molestation and enticing. All are concurrent. Adkins will be eligible for parole, but he will be a very old man should that ever happen.
His accuser, a 22-year-old man now in the military, came forward a year ago and told investigators in Georgia that the pastor used to watch him and his girlfriend have sex when they were teens. The young man explained how he offered up his girlfriend, also a member of Adkins’ church, as a gift to the pastor for allowing the young couple to have sex without repercussions.
He told investigators the guilt of giving his former girlfriend to Adkins for sexual pleasure bothered him and that’s why he came forward some six years later. He also told investigators eventually he and Adkins formed a sexual relationships and that both he and his girlfriend were 15 at the time. Adkins was later lent large sums of money from his accusor and paid only a fraction of it back.
A victim impact statement from the young man was read out loud in court by Assistant District Attorney Katie Gropper.
“Throughout this time I’ve felt nothing but shame and guilt which later led to depression,” it read in part. “There is never a time I wish I could stop thinking about it. Constantly depressed and never feeling like the shame or guilt would leave, I considered multiple easy outs. Once I figured out who Kenneth Adkins truly was, it hurt and I didn’t want to believe it.”
Let me conclude this post with Adkins’ words about the Pulse Night Club shooting:
Indeed, Pastor Adkins. You have gotten what you deserve.