Des Moines — Arguments were made before the Iowa Supreme Court Monday, March10, in the ongoing appeal of former Pella Pastor Patrick Edouard.
Edouard was charged with three counts of third-degree sexual abuse and four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist. He allegedly had forced sexual contact on at least three women while serving as a minister from 2003-10. Charges were filed in March 2011.
In August 2012, a Dallas County jury found Edouard not guilty on all three charges of sexual abuse, but found the former pastor guilty on all four of the sexual exploitation charges - including an additional charge of entering into a pattern/scheme/practice to engage in sexual exploitation as a counselor or therapist, a Class D felony. The last charge came as a result of being found guilty of two or more of the original sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist charges in which he violated law banning sex between people who provide “mental health services” and those who come to seek guidance from them.
Edouard was sentenced to one year in prison for each of the sexual exploitation charges and five years for the ongoing charge in October 2012. He apologized for his actions during the sentencing. The Marion County Sheriff's Office placed him in handcuffs and intended to take him to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale to begin serving his sentence.
However, Edouard was never taken into the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections. He has still never been taken to prison for these crimes.
According to Iowa DOC Spokesman Fred Scaletta, there are reasons a convicted felon may be able to avoid prison, including the possibility that an appeal was filed fast enough, and a large enough sum of money posted, that one could avoid spending time in prison. Scaletta did not know the specifics as to why Edouard has never been to prison.