Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

June 21, 2013

One count dismissed in Edouard case

By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express

---- — Judge Brad McCall has dismissed one of ten counts filed in a civil lawsuit by victims of former Pella pastor and convicted sex offender, Patrick Edouard.

Public court documents indicate that Valerie Bandstra, Anne Bandstra, Ryan Bandstra and Jason Bandstra are named plaintiffs who filed suit against Edouard, as well as the Covenant Reformed Church, United Reformed Churches in North America, Clarence Hettinga, Arnold Van Donselaar, Norman Van Mersbergen, William Hartman and the board of elders of Covenant Reformed Church.

Edouard was convicted of four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist and one count of entering into a pattern/scheme of exploitation by a therapist. He was sentenced to one year in prison on each of the exploitation counts and five years on the ongoing charge. The individual sentences per exploitation count will be served consecutively, and the sentence on the pattern charge will run concurrently with those. He is currently appealing this sentence.

Defendants Covenant Reformed Church, Clarence Hettinga, Arnold Van Donselaar, Norman Van Mersbergen, William Hartman and the Board of Elders at Covenant Reformed Church filed a motion to dismiss the case against them. Edouard and the United Reformed Churches in North America were not parties to this motion.

A 12-day jury trial is tentatively scheduled to begin on June 9, 2014. Edouard has denied all of the allegations. He has also filed a counterclaim against the plaintiffs.