Knoxville — The main courtroom in the Marion County Courthouse was filled with hugs and praise moments after former Pella Pastor Patrick Edouard was sentenced to up to five years in prison.
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.
Members of the Marion County Sheriff's Office and Pella Police Department were stationed around the courtroom filled with members of the community Edouard's crimes had affected. Edouard's attorney, Angela Campbell, filed a motion in arrest of judgment and sought a new trial before the sentencing proceedings began. Judge Paul Huscher felt the jury's findings were supported by adequate evidence and ruled against Campbell's motions.
"The motion for a new trial is therefore denied," Huscher said.
The adjectives "wicked," "evil," "controlling" and "manipulative were recurring in each of the four victim impact statements given on the stand before the sentence was pronounced. Edouard, wearing a dark suit, sat quietly with his elbows on the table and his hands folded together throughout the hearing. He did not move a muscle as the statements were read.
"This man was my pastor," the first victim said. "I was searching for guidance." Instead, she said she was sucked into the web of a "dark, perverse predator," who misused his power to enter her life.
"He had no intention of falling in love with me," she said. "He exploited my weaknesses and strengths."