KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Sentencing has again been delayed for a former Kalamazoo pastor accused of paying teens for sex, with his defense team saying his house recently burned down.
A court order moving former Second Baptist Church pastor Strick Strickland’s sentencing date says that his house burned on Thanksgiving while his family was at a relative’s for dinner. It says Strickland, his wife and their nine children are homeless. The family has been living in Mississippi, where Strickland is originally from.
His sentencing was initially set for Oct. 31 but was rescheduled for next week. After the latest postponement, it is scheduled for Jan. 30.
In 2020, Strickland was charged with 11 felony counts after a Michigan State Police investigation alleged he and his wife used their positions within their church and Kalamazoo Public Schools to coerce four teen boys into sex between 2015 and 2018.
In August, Strickland entered into a plea deal, pleading guilty to a count of knowingly offering to sell transportation services for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. The other charges were expected to be dismissed at sentencing.
Strickland’s wife was also charged in connection to the allegations but the case against her was ultimately dismissed.