Kenneth Adkins — who said Pulse victims "got what they deserve" and waged war against an anti-discrimination measure in Jacksonville, Fla. — may spend the rest of his life behind bars after a jury convicted him of eight charges of molestation.
The abuse occurred seven years ago and involved a teenage boy and girl who attended Adkins's church. Likely because of physical evidence that included photos and text messages, the jury of three men and nine women only took an hour to deliberate.
Adkins, a drug addict who later established and operated churches in Georgia and Florida, has a prior arrest record and will likely serve decades in prison, if not his whole life. After working to defame his young male accuser, Adkins's lawyer said he's seeking a new trial because details about the victim were omitted from testimony.
Adkins, 57, found infamy in helping kill an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in Jacksonville; Adkins dressed in drag during hearings and threatened to urinate next to cisgender women. During the ordinance debate, Adkins tweeted images of a councilman who supported the measure with messages scrawled over his face saying, "I Love Homosexuals. Because I Love Watching. I Am Freaky."
When confronted on his tweets, Adkins told Jacksonville's Fox/CBS affiliate that as a pastor, he finds homosexuality "vulgar and "pornographic."
After this summer's mass shooting in Orlando at the gay nightclub Pulse — where 49 people were murdered and dozens wounded — Adkins tweeted support for the massacre: “[I've] 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.”