PASTOR TRIAL: Testimony Wraps Up
Back on the stand Tuesday, former Pella pastor Patrick Edouard testified he remembered feeling stunned when four women came forward with accusations of rape and forced sex acts.
He is facing eight counts of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation for allegedly forcing female members of his church, who he was counseling, to have sexual contact with him.
“Absolutely not, that never happened,” Edouard testified.
Instead, the former pastor at Covenant Reformed Church testified about his “budding romance” with women in his congregation – one in particular. The affair lasted nearly three years. Edouard said if they hadn’t been caught the two would still be living in their so-called “fantasy world”.
“Because were in love and because it was the type of man I was before that…before God stopped me,” testified Edouard.
Edouard claimed he wasn’t counseling the women as a pastor.
“They were not linked to my role as pastor. They were contradictory to my role as pastor,” said Edouard.
His accusers told a different story.
They said they went to him to talk about everything from infertility to a cheating husband to mourning the loss of family members.
Whether what happened was crime or a sin, Edouard said it left him destroyed and broken.
“My soul had become a sewer where all these things were festering and my life had become ticking time bomb,” Edouard said.
Testimony wrapped up Tuesday and there is no court Wednesday. The jury will begin deliberating Thursday.