A Florida pastor who calls himself a “prophet” was arrested and charged with sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl on more than 36 separate occasions, including several times in a parked car outside her school. He’s 38 years old.
Police say Ricardo Strachan, described in his videos as a prophet, doctor, and apostle, is actually a sexual predator who lives a double life. He is the president of Prophetic Worshipers International Church and often preaches about unity and integrity and other topics he doesn’t take very seriously in his own life.
Police say he scared the child into keeping the abuse a secret by having her steal clothes and other personal items from her family for him to use in voodoo rituals.
He also told the girl his wife was a cop and had a gun, according to a police report. Strachan had sex with the child in his vehicle in the parking lot at Dillard High School 10 times, other times he took her to a hotel, an arrest report said.
Strachan, now 40, is being held in the Broward Main Jail on a single felony count of performing a lewd or lascivious act on a victim between the ages of 12 and 16. His bond on Thursday was set at $100,000.
So, we have a unique mix of Christianity, Voodoo, and a religion based upon others worshiping him. He calls himself a prophet, an apostle, and a pastor to instill a false sense of divine morality, then uses threats of violence in order to rape a kid.
And that’s what this is. He didn’t have “sex with the child” in his vehicle. He raped a little girl while pretending to represent an all-loving deity.
Of course, as is almost always the case when “prophets” and pastors are arrested, he has denied all the charges. His lawyer did not, however, deny his religious claims.
His lawyer, Lawrence Hashish, said his client was “completely shocked about” and “completely denies” the allegations.
Hashish said he has never knowingly represented a prophet before. “He might be a prophet, I don’t know,” he said. “We’re looking forward to our day in court to challenge these allegations.”
A medical exam showed evidence of sexual abuse and the girl’s school records showed tardiness and unexcused absences that matched up with times she was allegedly with Strachan, police said.
Despite Strachan being listed as president of the church, the organization says he left “more than a year ago.” Unfortunately for them, this all happened in 2016, when he was undoubtedly still with them.
The church still has great words for the pastor on their website, too, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Praise for Strachan previously posted on the Lauderhill church’s Facebook page remained there Thursday, prominently displayed.
“Pastor Ricardo is an AWESOME, ANOINTED, APPOINTED vessel of God. This family man is a humble Servant to God’s people,” one woman wrote. “This man of God always has a listening ear, a sincere pray [sic] and many motivating words of encouragement, full of wisdom.”
Those are some very kind words for an alleged rapist. Much as we’ve seen with the Catholic Church scandal this week, it’s hard for believers to wrap their minds around the fact that people they trusted are actually predators in their midst.
The silver lining here is that Strachan was arrested, and the evidence seems to be piling up against him. Hopefully that means he’ll never be able to hurt any more children in the future.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Gary for the link)