BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Pastor Ken Adkins, who has been in a Glynn County jail for seven months on charges he molested a teenage boy six years ago, turned down a plea deal Friday.
Prosecutors offered Adkins a sentence of five to 30 years if he were to plead guilty to child molestation, but his defense team turned it down. Adkins has said he is innocent of all charges.
Adkins, 56, a pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, was denied bond in September on child-molestation charges, and indicted by the Glynn County grand jury last month on three counts of child molestation, five counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes and one count of influencing a witness.
Adkins is known throughout southeast Georgia and greater Jacksonville for public comments about homosexuals and speaking out at public meetings.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a young man told investigators that Adkins molested him in 2010 when he was a member of Adkins' church as a boy younger than 16.
Prosecutors said they not only have explicit text messages and photos sent from Adkins phone, they also have a young woman’s testimony in which she makes allegations of sex crimes. The woman, who was in the youth ministry at Adkins' church at the time, said that Adkins watched her and a teenage boy have sex in a Brunswick hotel several years ago.
The woman says after the incident, Adkins touched her inappropriately.
Adkins' attorney, Kevin Gough, argued that the alleged incident didn't take place in 2009, but instead a few years later, when the boy called a victim in the case was an adult.
"The charges set forth in the indictment allege that the crimes took place when he was under the age of 16, so the timeline is very important to this," Gough said. "He has maintained his innocence, and we look forward to his day in court."
A judge said he is also taking into consideration the account of a police officer, who interviewed the victim and the young woman and Adkins during his investigation, before he makes a ruling on what evidence will be admissible when the trial begins April 3.
In Georgia, aggravated child abuse is considered a capital crime. While the death penalty is not considered likely, Adkins could face up to life in prison if convicted.
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