Patrick Edouard Convicted On Abuse By Counselor Charges

According to a Des Moines news station:

The Dallas County jury found Patrick Edouard not guilty of four 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.

There will be speculation as to why he was not convicted on the sexual abuse charges, but the jury heard what none of us heard and we’ll probably never know their reasoning. There will be no speculation here. We hope that justice has been done, that there will be repentance, and that both individuals and families will find healing.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Patrick Edouard Convicted On Abuse By Counselor Charges

  1. Hard to convict of rape when the women stayed with him after the alleged rape. I think they made the right decision. I am curious if there will be an appeal on church/state grounds. Can the state make a law re. therapists/counselors and apply it to pastors? Also wonder if the women now have grounds for a civil suit against Covenant. Where was the elder oversight of the pastor meeting with women alone?

  2. Erik, I don’t see any church/state conflict. It’s a law that has general application to both secular and church counselors. There is no church belief/practice that is being trod upon.

    • Theoretically, what if a church had a doctrine of “free love” where one of the approved practices was for the church “pastor” and leaders to have relations with the church members. How does the state come in and forbid that given the sexual permissiveness that runs through our whole society? Is these are all consenting adults that are involved. If Edouard was not guilty of rape the jury must have found there was some degree of consent involved. I think an aggressive defense attorney would have a case with an Iowa Supreme Court that recently found a right for homosexuals to marry in the State Constitition. The only reason they could deny it is by saying there was “mental coercion” involved. I agree with the verdict, but given our culture’s goofy ideas about anything involving sex anything is possible.

      • Unfortunately, churches with doctrines of “free love” are not so theoretical.

        Remember the “Flirty Fishing” practices of David Berg and the Children of God? That only stopped in the late 1980s due to the AIDS outbreak.

        If you want to see how bad things can get, read the paper by Susan Raine, “Flirty Fishing in the Children of God: The Sexual Body as a Site of Proselytization and Salvation” which is online, or the “ExFamily” website which focuses on debunking the practices of that cult group which claimed to be evangelical but obviously had a radically different view of the Seventh Commandment.

        Some links:

        http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb03/ivk/mjr/pdfs/2007/articles/raine2007.pdf

        http://www.exfamily.org/children-of-god/

        Advance warning — don’t read if you don’t have a strong stomach for depravity. It’s pretty bad.

        How the Iowa counselor-counselee law would be applied in a situation like that is anyone’s guess. My guess is the courts would focus on whether the person joining the “church” knew what they were getting into before they joined, and had sufficient mental ability to consent to this sort of pastor-parishioner sexual contact, but that’s only a guess. Since that cult group actually exists, there is a good likelihood that there have been court cases involving it in states that have laws such as that of Iowa.

  3. The free excercise cases tend to go into a specific analysis as to the exact religious practice and the exact law, as well as how the law is actually implemented. A famous case was when the SCOTUS upheld a law against polygamy. There has been a case involving ritual use of eagle feathers (the sect won, I think) and religious use of drugs (the sect lost, I believe).

    Here, the jury would not have to find that there was a degree of consent. They would only need a reasonable doubt that there was enough evidence under the law to convict, and we won’t know what that reasonable doubt was.

    • Here’s an interesting thought. What if Edouard was an unmarried white man & he had sex with an unmarried white female church member and they were in a liberal protestant church in Iowa City. Would we have the same outcome?

      • Counselor/counselee . Power, trust, vulnerability. Race and ideology don’t enter the picture. Sorry for my iPhone brevity.

      • darrelltoddmaurina

        Google Rev. Richard Rhem, pastor of what was then the RCA’s fourth-largest church, and a very prominent liberal congregation. All the women involved were white, as was the pastor. I covered that case extensively back in the 1990s. Bottom line is that the statute of limitations for the alleged rapes had expired so he was tried ecclesiastically, not criminally, and while he was deposed from office for gross sexual misconduct, his church refused to recognize the classis’ deposition and withdrew from the denomination. Many people left the local church but they were able to survive. His case led to new state laws being introduced in Michigan which would have criminalized counselor-counselee relationships of this type, much like the current laws governing the situation in Pella.

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