Judge excuses himself in activist pastor case

Attorney for Ken Adkins accuses district attorney of denying due process

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A bond hearing for Pastor Ken Adkins on charges of child molestation was postponed from Friday to next Tuesday when the judge who was to preside over the hearing recused himself due to a conflict of interest.

Adkins, 56, has been in the Glynn County Jail since last month on charges stem from alleged incidents in 2010 between Adkins and teenage boy who was a member of his church.

Adkins, pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, has drawn fire in the past for his remarks about homosexuals.

A young man told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Adkins molested him when the boy was under the age of 16. 

In court ealier this month, prosecutors showed two pictures of Adkins' private parts that were allegedly emailed from his phone to the boy. Adkins' lawyer said that since the defendant had multiple businesses, he could have had more than one phone and others could have had access to them. He also said the timing doesn't add up, as the pictures were sent in November 2014 to prove something that happened in 2010.

Adkins shook his head as GBI Agent James Feller testified that the alleged victim, who they are calling AJ, said his relationship with Adkins started when he was 15. The boy told authorities that he met Adkins through a mutual friend. After he joined Adkins' church and entered a mentoring program, That's when a sexual relationship with Adkins began, he told the GBI.

Feller said the boy told authorities that Adkins asked if he was using protection when he had sex with his girlfriend, then asked if he could watch them to make sure they were doing it properly.

The agent said AJ described many sexual encounters, including ones between himself and Adkins. The agent said that when interviewed, Adkins maintained his innocence and said there was never any type of sexual relationship between himself and AJ.

On cross-examination, Adkins' attorney asked Feller why he had no recordings or written transcripts of any of the interviews with AJ or the witnesses. Attorney Kevin Gough said he is skeptical because these allegations are coming six years after the relationship apparently happened.

Gough said AJ loaned Adkins money several years ago, and earlier this year AJ made threats when asking for his money back. He also says that AJ recently asked Adkins for his blessing on his gay marriage, which he knew Adkins and his church wouldn't do.

After the hearing, Gough said the prosecutors don't have a case. He said it's a shame that the case will be doing to trial.

"The prosecution is making a mockery of our criminal justice system," Gough said. "Mr. Adkins has been accused by a very troubled young man who clearly has an ax to grind."

Gough is asking for a speedy trial.

Gough also said that AJ was recently in an Army mental hospital and told investigators that he needed counseling for depression for what he went through with Adkins and the death of his grandfather.

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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