KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WWMT) — A former pastor in Michigan has been sentenced in a sex crimes case where he paid teenage boys to engage in sex acts with his wife.
Stricjavvar “Strick” Strickland took a plea deal, pleading guilty to one felony count of transportation services for engaging in prostitution, and he was sentenced to one year in the Kalamazoo County Jail.
Strickland made a 12-minute statement, saying he was not guilty of sexually abusing teenagers and paying them to engage in sexual acts with his wife.
He said his 17-year-old son was killed in a car crash and his home burned down around Thanksgiving, leaving his nine children homeless.
Strickland wanted his sentence delayed to sort out matters relating to the fire, but the judge ordered Strickland to begin serving it the same day.
Mr. Strickland was in a powerful position," Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor Christin Mehrtens-Carlin said. "He could have done really good. He could have mentored these young men at a critical time in their lives. Instead, he manipulated them, took advantage of them, and forever harmed them for his own warped sexual pleasure.
Prosecutors hoped the agreement would force him to consider his behavior and show remorse for his victims, Mehrtens-Carlin said.
No such remorse exists. The defendant continues to care only about himself," she said.
Strickland was charged with 11 felony counts involving child sexual assault and human trafficking in August 2020. Ten felony counts were dismissed.
As part of the plea deal, Strickland will not have to register as a sex offender or be on probation after he’s released.
His wife had faced eight felony charges but a judge dismissed them almost two years ago.