A married Baptist pastor and father of ten who was found guilty of molesting two teenage members of his church congregation has said he is "angry with God" over the verdict.
"As a pastor, as a bishop, I am mad with life and I am angry with God," Bishop Kenneth Adkins, pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, told reporters. "I did not molest any children. I did not touch anybody, I didn't have oral sex with anybody. I didn't allow anybody to have oral sex with me. I did not do those things," he said.
In a unanimous decision by a Georgia jury, the 57-year-old Brunswick native was found guilty of eight charges of abuse against a teenage boy and girl, the Mail Online reports. Adkins, who will be sentenced April 25, faces a lifetime behind bars if convicted of the five counts of aggravated child molestation; three counts of simple child molestation; two counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes and a single charge of influencing a witness.
The male victim said that Adkins, who has a previous criminal history due to drug convictions, had become a "father figure" to him after his grandfather died, but that the relationship turned sexual in 2010. The self-proclaimed "pastor" began sending the teen inappropriate pictures and texts and showering him with gifts, the victim said.
Eventually Adkins told the teen that he wanted to watch him have sex with his girlfriend, to "make sure he was doing it properly". The victim told the court he'd "lost count" of the times the three had been involved in sexual situations in the church office, in Adkins' car, and at the beach.
The preacher told reporters he plans to fight the verdict and said he believes the guilty verdict was based on emotions, not facts.
"If it's God's will that I spend the rest of my life in prison, then I have no choice but to accept that. I don't believe it is. I did not do it, and I'm going to fight until I have a last breath to gain my freedom once again," he said.
His wife, Charlotte Adkins, also maintained her husband's innocence and claimed they had both mentored the teen, according to jacksonville.com.
"This young man was part of our teen ministry," she said. "Ken and I have treated him like family, as has our church. He is a deeply troubled young man, to be sure, but our thoughts and prayers remain with him even now."
Adkins made national headlines when he said homosexuals got "what they deserve" after Islamic extremist Omar Mateen massacred 49 people at a Florida gay club last year.
"Dear Gays, Go sit down somewhere,' he tweeted on June 13, the day after 49 people were killed and many more injured. "I know y'all want some special attention. Yall are sinners who need Jesus. This was an attack on America.'"
He later tweeted: "been through so much with these Jacksonville homosexuals that I don't see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve!!"
After coming under fire, Adkins claimed his tweets about the Pulse shooting were actually about a Jacksonville group he'd argued with over anti-gay-discrimination ordinance
"My tweet was strictly meant for the Jacksonville group that has made my life a living hell since I served on the panel and opposed the HRO," he said.