Pastor Ken Adkins, who infamously said the victims of Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting got “what they deserve,” was arrested Friday on a charge of child molestation, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) August 26, 2016
According to The Florida Times Union, the arrest stems from allegations made by a young male former member of his congregation. Special Agent Stacy Carson said the investigation is focused on suspected molestation in several locations in the Brunswick, Georgia area, including at Adkins’ church, a vehicle and a victim’s home.
Adkins’ wife, Charlotte, told the paper, “This young man was part of our teen ministry. 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.”
The preacher spoke out after the June 12 shooting at the nightclub that serves a mostly gay clientele, where 49 people were killed and another 53 injured when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire. Local authorities and the FBI investigating the incident at the time called it the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
In a June 16 tweet on Adkins’ now-private Twitter account, he wrote, “Been [sic] 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!!”
Adkins, who does double-duty as political consultant in the Jacksonville area, is being held at the Glynn County Jail.