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Genesis Baptist Church pastor found guilty on two assault charges, not guilty on two others

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Gene Edwards, pastor of Genesis Baptist Church in China Grove, was given a year of supervised probation after a judge found him guilty on two counts of assault on a female.

The decision came three months after three women who are members of Genesis church accused him of inappropriately touching them.

The women said Edwards, 71, hugged them longer than normal, tried to kiss one of them and in another incident brushed his hand against one woman’s breast. He pleaded not guilty to all offenses.

The court, hearing the case last week, found him not guilty in two incidents involving one woman.

None of the women filed a report with law enforcement. Instead all three sought private warrants through the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office.

District Court Judge Beth Dixon ordered Edwards to undergo a psychological evaluation, obey the terms of his probation, be of good general behavior and have no contact with the other two women.

Edwards has given a notice to the court that he plans to appeal the decision.

One woman, 67, wrote in her complaint that Edwards tried to kiss her on the mouth while she spoke with him at the church office. The China Grove woman said the incident occurred June 15.

The woman told the Post today she was sad about the whole situation. She said she was pleased with the outcome in her case, “except he yet does not acknowledge that he did anything wrong.”

She said she only came forward after she learned of the incidents involving the other two women. She said Edwards asked for her forgiveness after the incident and she forgave him.

“I thought that was the end of it,” the woman said.

The Post reached out to the other victim and Edwards for comments and are awaiting a response.

See more in Wednesday’s Post.

 

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