Kalamazoo Pastor Facing Sex Charges Fails to Appear
The Kalamazoo pastor charged with sexually assaulting four teens appears to be on the lam. Michigan State Police Lt. Chuck Christensen says the Rev. Stricjavvar “Strick” Strickland, of Kalamazoo’s Second Baptist Church, is considered a fugitive, after failing to turn himself in this morning (Sept 2nd).
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 also faces four counts of human trafficking of a minor for commercial sexual activity and three counts of child sexually abusive activity. Court papers say the incidents in question go back more than five years.
Prosecutors allege that Strickland and his wife used their employment at Phoenix High School in Kalamazoo and his work as a pastor to find male teens to engage in sexual activity with his wife, while he watched and masturbated.” Strickland has maintained his innocence and called the charges “absolutely preposterous.”.
Strickland’s attorney, Michael Hills, says that his client is not avoiding turning himself in, and is currently living in the southern United States and had to deal with hurricane weather and transportation issues.
In a news conference a year and a half ago, Hills and Strickland expressed concern over the way the charges were made and of the investigation.