Former Kalamazoo Pastor Surrenders To Michigan State Police For Sex Crime Charges
About 24 hours after being declared a wanted fugitive, a former pastor has turned himself in to Michigan State Police to face charges of sexual assault, human trafficking, and child sexually abusive activity.
Former Kalamazoo pastor Stricjavvar “Strick” Strickland has surrendered to Michigan State Police after failing to do so three other times following agreed upon terms with law enforcement. Michigan State Police Lt. Chuck Christensen announced on Wednesday, August 3 that Strickland was considered a fugitive and that Michigan State Police were working with law enforcement in other states to help bring Strickland into police custody.
Strickland, 37, was charged with 11 felony criminal sexual charges on August 21st. Those charges include sexually assaulting four male victims between the ages of 15 and 17, two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct on a student, one on a person age 13-15, and one by force or coercion. He is also facing four counts of human trafficking of a minor for commercial sexual activity and three counts of child sexually abusive activity.
Strickland is the former pastor of Second Baptist Church. Authorities allege he and his wife used their positions within Kalamazoo Public Schools and the church to coerce four teen boys into sex. According to court documents, investigators say Strickland paid the teens to have sex with his wife and send him nude photos between 2015 and 2018.
Strickland also faces assault and battery charges stemming from December 2019 incident at the church where he was serving as pastor at the time.
Stricklan's wife, Jazmonique Strickland, has yet to face criminal charges. Police say their investigation remains ongoing.
Strickland’s attorney, Michael Hills, said that his client was not avoiding turning himself in, and has been living in the southern United States and had to deal with hurricane weather and transportation issues.
Strickland has denied all of the charges and is expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.