LAUDERHILL, Fla. - A pastor accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl repeatedly for almost a year, occasionally having sex with her in his vehicle outside a school and sometimes at a hotel, was arrested Wednesday.
Ricardo Strachan, 40, is listed as president of the Prophetic Worshippers International Church in Lauderhill. He faces a charge of lewd and lascivious battery on a child between the age of 12 and 16.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Strachan had sex with the teenager about 10 times in the parking lot of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale and about 15 other times from January to December 2016.
Strachan was 38 at the time.
The probable cause affidavit also alleges that the teen kept it a secret because she was afraid about what would happen to her family.
Police said the girl claimed Strachan practiced voodoo and had her steal from her family "in an effort to perform rituals."
After the teen's cousin noticed her sleeping patterns were off and that she had been stealing clothes and other personal items from their family's home, the cousin told police.
The probable cause affidavit also revealed that Strachan was introduced to the girl by her stepfather, who police said also sexually abused her.
According to the Florida Division of Corporations website, Prophetic Worshippers International Inc. is registered to co-pastor Diane Strachan, who shares the same Hollywood home address as Ricardo Strachan.
Ricardo Strachan's sermons are animated and prompt parishioners to rise out of their seats, as shown in a YouTube video posted in 2010.
"You can't make supernatural moves with doubters," he told parishioners in the video.
Police said the girl's tardy and unexcused attendance record at Dillard High School was consistent with the sexual abuse.
Lawrence Hashish, an attorney for Strachan, said his client denies the allegations against him and that the church is standing by the pastor.
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