BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Pastor Ken Adkins, has been in the Glynn County Jail for nearly four months since he was accused molesting a teenage boy, will remain locked up after another bond hearing Friday.
Adkins, 56, pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, was denied bond in September on child molestation charges, was 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.
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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 under the age of 16.
Adkins' lawyer, Kevin Gough, filed a new motion for bond and in reaction to the indictment said, "Having already demanded a speedy trial, and eager to clear his good name, Pastor Kenneth Adkins and his family look forward to his day in court.”
During Friday's hearing on the motion, Gough called three people to the stand: a Waycross pastor, the GBI special agent on the case and a longtime friend of Adkins from Waycross. The pastor and friend said that Adkins does not pose any flight risk or risk to the community.
Gough was interrupted several times by prosecutors who objected, saying what the defense was presenting wasn’t relevant for a bond hearing. The judge agreed and gave both sides until next Friday to present the judge with information pertaining to phone calls from Adkins in jail, then the judge will make a decision on setting bail.
"When you see those conversations as a whole and you compare them to the strange interpretations of the two or three phone calls in question that the state has relied upon for granting bond, (it) becomes very obvious that those statements have been taken out of context," Gough said.
Gough initially asked for a bond of between $10,000 and $50,000.
Adkins is known throughout southeast Georgia and greater Jacksonville for public comments about homosexuals and speaking out at public meetings.
State outlines charges against Adkins
In court in September, 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. 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.
"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."
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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