Since Adkins has a previous criminal history , and because of Georgia's strict sentencing, he may never be a free man,
Adkins, a drug addict-turned-PR boss-turned-preacher, was arrested in August last year, two months after he made national headlines about the shootings at the Orlando gay club Pulse, when he tweeted:
'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.'Then in another tweet, he wrote:
'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!!'On Monday, a jury felt he got what he deserved. Over a week of testimony, they had heard how the victim had been groomed by the firebrand preacher. The victim, who is not being named, said that Adkins had become a 'father figure' to him after his grandfather died, but that the relationship turned sexual in 2010.
He explained how Adkins had bought him gifts and began calling him and texting him, News4Jax reported. The preacher had sent him pictures of his penis, 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 court heard. The preacher then joined the pair in the sex acts, he said. 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.
Preacher: Adkins is a drug addict-turned-PR-man-turned-preacher. His prior convictions mean he may never be a free man. None of his ten children were in court for the trial The girl in question - who was named in five of the charges Adkins was found guilty of - testified that the events had never happened. But the prosecution claimed that the girl was under his influence. 'She's in his clutches,' said assistant district attorney Katie Gropper. 'What he has done to that girl is not only criminal, it is deplorable.'
Most of Adkins' defense was based not on denying the claims made by the victim, but on questioning whether he and the girl were actually 15 at the time, or 16. Had the pair been 16, they would have been legally capable of consenting to sex with Adkins under Georgia law. In his closing statements - which took an hour and 20 minutes - defense attorney Kevin Gough told the jury eight times that even if they disliked Adkins, he should not be found guilty of 'hypocrisy'. 'Where is the evidence that any criminal act took place?' he asked. 'It may be awkward at public events, church, if you return an innocent verdict, but [be] assured, you should not take that into consideration.'
Georgia has strict mandatory minimum sentencing laws and because Adkins has a prior record of drug convictions, there’s a possibility he will never be a free man.
Source: Savannah Now