Prosecutors, defense argue over age of 'victim' in Brunswick pastor's trial

3 of 11 charges against Ken Adkins dropped early in trial

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – After three days of prosecutors laying out their case against a Brunswick pastor who is accused of child molestation, Ken Adkins' attorney began presenting his defense on Friday.

The key point of contention was the age of the young man who is accusing Adkins of touching him.

The age of consent in Georgia is 16, and attorney Kevin Gough is trying to show that the relationship between Adkins and his accuser could have happened when the accuser turned 16.

The accuser, who is now 22, told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation last summer that he hadn't yet turned 15 when Adkins, who was pastor of his church and became like a father figure to him when his grandfather died, began calling and texting him. He said that the relationship turned sexual in 2010, when he participated in various acts with his girlfriend and Adkins.

The accuser said Adkins eventually borrowed $2,500 from him for his wife’s medical bills and church bills, but never paid him back.

Gough questioned a Brunswick Police Department detective, who admitted the accuser had mental blackouts and had difficulty recalling some dates. But that detective and one with the GBI said there was no confusion on the timeline of when the sexual encounters occurred.

Gough asked Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett to adjourn mid-afternoon, saying some of this witnesses didn't testify the way he expected. Scarlett said no, and Gough recalled a couple of witnesses, and rested by the end of the day. 

The jury was given the choice whether they'd like to hear closing arguments Saturday and begin deliberations or wait until Monday. They chose to have the weekend off. 

Adkins turned down a plea deal last month. 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.

If convicted, Adkins could face up to life in prison.