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Court to Hear Pastor's Sex Exploitation Case

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court will review a ruling that ordered a new trial for a former Iowa pastor accused of sexually preying on female parishioners.

The court said Wednesday it has agreed to review the case of Patrick Edouard, former pastor at Covenant Reform Church in Pella.

The Iowa Court of Appeals in November threw out a jury verdict that found him guilty of four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor and one count of a pattern to sexually exploit.

The appeals court said an improper jury instruction undermined Edouard's defense in which he admitted to sexual conduct with the women but denied he was their counselor. The Iowa Attorney General's Office appealed.

If the conviction stands, Edouard faces up to five years in prison. He's free pending appeal.