The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled a former Pella pastor convicted of sexual exploitation by a counselor should get a new trial.
Patrick Edouard admitted during his trial to having a sexual relationship with four female members of his congregation at the Covenant Reformed Church in Pella. He denied that he was a counselor or therapist to them, but the jury found him guilty on four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor and one count of a scheme to engage in sexual exploitation.
Edouard appealed, saying that the district court erred in failing to give jury instructions on the definition of “counseling,” as defined by an Iowa Supreme Court ruling. The Appeals Court agreed the lack of the instructions could have prejudiced the case and reversed the convictions and ordered a new trial.
Full ruling: Edouard ruling PDF