Assault charge for pastor previously accused of sex with teens

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A 2019 file image of Rev. Strick Strickland.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo pastor who was already accused of paying teens for sex is now facing a separate assault and battery charge.

A misdemeanor warrant for Rev. Stricjavvar Strickland, 37, was authorized Friday based on an incident that occurred Dec. 15, 2019. According to a court record posted Monday, he posted a $500 cash/surety bond. Arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Kalamazoo Prosecutor Jeff Getting declined to provide Target 8 with details of the case, but the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said the alleged assault happened in the 600 block of North Rose Street. Second Baptist Church, where Strickland has been pastor since 2012, is located at 609 North Rose.

In a separate investigation, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office is expected to decide soon whether to file criminal charges over allegations Strickland and his wife Jazmonique paid teenagers for sex.

A year ago, Michigan State Police revealed investigators had identified five alleged victims, all of whom were 17 or younger and one of whom was 14. According to the police report, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the alleged exploitation and sexual assaults happened between Jan. 1, 2018 and May 30, 2018, at or near Strickland’s former home, which was on property owned by the church.

Strickland moved out of the parsonage after the allegations surfaced, though he remains senior pastor at Second Baptist Church.

He and his wife have vehemently denied all allegations, calling them “absolutely 100% false.”

The pastor, who is also the former head of the Kalamazoo chapter of the NAACP, said his home was a place of refuge for your people.

“There are 40 or 50 young people who’ve been in and out of my house,” Strickland said last year. “My home is a safe haven for kids in the neighborhood.”

Strickland’s name surfaced also surfaced in a homicide investigation in the summer of 2018. Donnovan Lewis, who murdered his girlfriend, Western Michigan University student Aniya Mack, said he did it over her growing relationship with Strickland, her pastor.

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