Former Pastor Ricardo Strachan of Prophetic Worshipers International Church was arrested on August 15 for allegedly repeatedly molesting a 13-year-old girl.
Strachan, 40, faces one felony count of lewd and lascivious battery on a child between the ages of 12 and 16. He was released on $100,000 bond and is forbidden from having contact with the victim, the victim’s family, or any other minors.
While Ricardo Strachan was the pastor of Prophetic Worshipers International Church, it is not clear whether the victim attended the church. No other accusations of misconduct against Strachan were immediately available at the time of writing. The church is registered to co-pastor Diane Strachan, who shares the same address as Ricardo Strachan. It has not been specified how the two parties are related.
According to the arrest report, Strachan had sex with the teen abot a 10 times in his car in the parking lot of Dillard High School during school hours. He also allegedly had sex with her in a hotel about 15 other times. A medical exam showed evidence of the alleged abuse, and the girl’s tardy and unexcused school attendance record was consistent with the sexual abuse, according to the report.
The victim told investigators that she kept the incidents secret because Strachan led her to believe that he was a practitioner of voodoo and he would hurt her family. “The victim reported that the subject practiced Voodoo, had her steal property belonging to her own family to provide to the subject in an effort to perform rituals,” the arrest report states.
Investigators learned about the alleged abuse from the victim’s cousin, who was the first person the victim confided in. The cousin contacted police after noticing the teen’s odd sleeping and eating habits and the missing family items.
Strachan was purportedly introduced to the girl by her stepfather, Avo Avard Roker, who is also accused of molesting her. Roker, 32, was arrested on Saturday and is charged with sexual battery on a victim under 18 years old. He is being held without bond at the Broward County Main Jail. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.
According to the arrest report, Roker sexually abused the girl up to 65 times between December 2015 and December 2016. He also threatened her, telling her Strachan would hurt her and her mother if she refused to comply, the report said.
The Sun Sentinel reached out to the church for comment and was told that Strachan is no longer with Prophetic Worshipers International. Prophetic Worshipers International Church, at 1727 NW 38th Avenue in Lauderhill, was founded in 2009.
Lawrence Hashish, the attorney representing Strachan, said his client denies the allegations and that the church is standing by the pastor. “We’re looking forward to our day in court to challenge these allegations,” Hashish told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
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