MIXED VERDICT: Pastor Guilty Of Sexual Exploitation
The jury has reached a verdict in the sexual assault trial of a former Pella pastor.
The Dallas County jury found Patrick Edouard not guilty of three counts of sexual abuse, but he has been found guilty of four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist and guilty of one count of a pattern or scheme of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.
The jury began deliberating Thursday afternoon and reached a verdict Friday afternoon.
In closing arguments Thursday, prosecutors told the jury Patrick Edouard used his position to take sexual advantage of women and had affairs with four members of his congregation.
“It was because of his role, his exterior role as trusted, adored pastor and minister of the word, that these women and he ended up engaging in sexual conduct,” said Assistant Iowa Attorney General Laura Roan.
The defense argued Edouard was not counseling the women and that the affairs were consensual. The defense also maintains the alleged victims only claimed the relationships were criminal because of the impact of the affairs on their families.
“Rape and exploitation is an explanation because you can`t place guilt on someone who was a victim. It`s easier. A husband shoudn’t be mad at a wife who is a victim,” said defense attorney Angela Campbell.
Edouard was charged with eight counts of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.