Iowa Pastor will go to jail after sexually abusing congregation members
MARION COUNTY (KWWL) -
Former Pella Pastor Patrick Edouard, 42, will serve prison time after sexually abusing four members of his congregation.
One victim described it in court saying, "Edouard violated me emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually."
Edouard's accusers say he took advantage of their time in counseling on personal issues. But the former pastor says that he wasn't counseling any of the woman, rather he says all of the relationships were consensual.
A jury disagreed with him on several accounts in August.
Edouard was found guilty of four counts of sexual exploitation by a therapist or counselor and one count of a pattern of sexual exploitation. He was also found not guilty of three other counts of sexual abuse.
On Friday, the judge ruled that Edouard will spend five years in prison and no contact orders were issued for all four victims and their families. Edouard will also have to register as a sex offender.
At the sentencing, Edouard took a few minutes to address the judge and the church members who have stood by his side.
"I have deep profound profuse apology to you to this court, to the people sitting behind me who knew me as a different person," he said.
One victim says although it was hard to speak out, she hopes it made a difference.
"As an abused woman, it was painful to re-tell my story, but if it would stop him from hurting one more woman it was worth it."