A former Kalamazoo pastor was sentenced Monday in a sex crimes case where he allegedly paid teenage boys to engage in sex acts with his wife at his home.
Stricjavvar "Strick" Strickland, 40, was sentenced to 12 months in Kalamazoo County Jail Monday morning on one felony count of facilitation of travel services for purposes of prostitution.
"This was a witch-hunt and a lynching from the beginning," Strickland said in his statement Monday. "I am not without fault, but I am not guilty of what I'm accused of."
Strickland, Wife Accused of Using Their Positions to Coerce the Teens into Sex
Strickland was accused of paying male teens to engage in sex acts with his wife Jazmonique Strickland, a former Kalamazoo Public Schools secretary, inside the couple's Prairie Avenue home in 2018. Authorities accused the couple of using their positions within the Second Baptist Church and Kalamazoo Public Schools to meet and coerce the teen boys into having sex.
The testimony in Jazmonique's case made it clear she had sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old, but the testimony needed to make it clear that she used her status as a secretary at Phoenix High School to gain access to the victim and/or used her status to create the relationship in order for the case to continue with the filed charges.
Strickland Avoids Registering as Sex Offender, Probation as Part of Plea Deal
Strickland was initially charged with 11 felony counts involving child sexual assault and human trafficking in August 2020. However, the 10 other felony charges Strickland faced were dismissed after Stickland pleaded guilty to the charges in August.
The plea deal also allowed him to avoid registering as sex offender and probation following his release, according to court records.
A Kalamazoo County judge dismissed all eight felony charges Jazmonique Strickland during a preliminary hearing in May 2021. Strickland filed a lawsuit in July which alleged the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office acted maliciously when they charged her.
The sentencing was delayed twice after his 17-year-old son was killed in a car crash in September and a second time when his family's home burned down over Thanksgiving, leaving him and his wife's nine children homeless, he said. Judge Bridenstine has now ordered Strickland to begin the sentence Monday and granted him one day time served.