(EDGE) A controversial Georgia pastor, who came under fire for tweeting the victims of the Pulse gay club attack in Orlando, Fla. "got what they deserve," turned himself into authorities Friday morning on charges of aggravated child molestation and child molestation, Jacksonville.com reports.
The allegations against Kenneth Adkins, 56, who also doubles as a political consultant, come from a young male former member of his congregation.
Adkins' wife, Charlotte Stormy Adkins, released a statement after her husband's arrest.
"This young man was part of our teen ministry," Adkins' wife, Charlotte Adkins, said in a statement about the alleged victim, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Ken and I have treated him like family, as has our church. He is a deeply troubled young man, to be sure, but our thoughts and prayers remain with him even now."
"We are confident that Kenneth Adkins will be found innocent of all charges, and at that time we expect that the District Attorney and Georgia Bureau of Investigation will be as vocal in publicly clearing his good name at that time as they have been in besmirching his name around town and in the media over the past twenty-four hours," she added.
Jacksonville.com notes the incidents had to occur in 2010, or later, and had to involve someone under the age of 16 for a child molestation charge to be brought against the pastor.
Adkins asked to be placed on unpaid leave from The Great Church Brunswick, which has congregations in Atlanta, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla. His wife said she will serve as acting pastor.
The pastor has often spewed anti-gay comments, most notably a tweet in the wake of the Orlando massacre - the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, which took the lives of 49 people and left dozens injured.
Adkins' Twitter is now private and all his tweets are currently hidden but his hateful messages have been preserved by the Internet via screen shots. Mic.com shows the controversial tweet where he reportedly wrote: "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!!"
Before that tweet Adkins sent another, according to the Florida Times-Union.
"Dear Gays, go sit down somewhere. I know y'all want some special attention; y'all are sinners who need Jesus. This was an attack on America."
The pastor tried to back peddle on his hateful message, later saying the tweets were "strictly meant for the Jacksonville group that has made my life a living hell," referencing his fight against passing non-discrimination measures for LGBT people in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville.com writes Adkins "helped lead the fight against expanding Jacksonville's anti-discrimination law to cover [LGBT] people."
The newspaper adds the pastor believed such messages would allow sexual predators to attack people in bathrooms.