FORMER KALAMAZOO PASTOR’S WIFE CHARGED IN SEX CRIMES CASE
January 14, 2021
Andrew Feather, Tarvarious Haywood
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Jazmonique Strickland, the wife of Stricjavvar “Strick” Strickland, has been charged with eight felony counts related to child sexual assault and human trafficking of a minor, according to Kalamazoo County Court Records.
On Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, a Kalamazoo County judge issued an arrest warrant for Jazmonique Strickland.
"These are extraordinarily serious allegations. These are offenses for which it’s common that significant prison sentences are the outcome if people are convicted of those crimes," Kalamazoo Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting said.
Strick Strickland, a former Kalamazoo pastor, was charged in August with 11 felony counts involving criminal sexual conduct and human trafficking.
According to Strick Strickland’s charging documents, between 2015 and 2018, he paid multiple teenage boys to have sex with Jazmonique while he watched.
He has denied the allegations.
Church leaders at Second Baptist Church in Kalamazoo voted to remove him as lead pastor in July 2020, nearly two years after Michigan State Police raided Strickland’s home.
Authorities allege Strickland and his wife used their positions within the church and the Kalamazoo Public Schools to coerce four teen boys into having sex.
"She as well as Strick both had relationships with the schools as well. I can’t get into the specifics about the allegations, but I think it’s natural to draw that link between the school and the co-defendants in this case," Getting said.
Jazmonique Strickland worked as a paraprofessional at Phoenix Alternative High School from August 2013 through September 2018, the day before the raid.
According to Strick Strickland’s charging documents, in one instance an alleged victim told detectives during the 2017-2018 school year he was introduced to Jazmonique Strickland, then an employee at Phoenix. The alleged victim said he was asked to send him photos of him naked in exchange for $50. On another occasion he claimed Strick asked him to have sex with Jazmonique at their home on while Strick watched.
Kalamazoo Public School provided a statement:
"Kalamazoo Public Schools utmost concern is the safety and well-being of our students. All employees and volunteers must pass a background check before working with students. We strive to have trusted adults in our schools so students can ask for assistance about any matters of concern. When there is an allegation about an employee, we investigate it thoroughly and when it is appropriate, involve law enforcement. Inappropriate conduct by our employees is not tolerated."
Getting said parents shouldn't assume people with influential positions always have their the best interest of the children at heart.
"That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t trust our community leaders, but it also means there is an obligation to be aware of what’s going on, because this happens and it can involve prominent people within the community," he said.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.