A hearing in the case of Jay Strickland, the former associate pastor charged with three sex crimes, has been rescheduled for August.
After a brief hearing Thursday morning in the court of Jefferson County Circuit Judge Shelly Watkins, prosecutors and defense agreed to continue the case because of a procedural matter until August 21.
Strickland, a Morris resident who was an associate pastor at Sharon Heights Baptist Church in Brookside and also a member of the Warrior Fire Department, is charged with two counts of sexual abuse and one count of sodomy in two incidents which are alleged to have occurred several years ago. The alleged victims, one male and one female, were minors at the time; they have since become adults and moved out of state, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Richard Jaffe, the attorney representing Strickland, told reporters after the hearing that additional time is needed to review the details of the allegations.
“We are exploring every aspect of this case, and we just don’t have enough information now to make good legal decisions that make sense, so we need more time. Both sides need more time,” Jaffe said. “We are intensely exploring and investigating the matter... It’s very difficult to investigate allegations of this nature that are historical.”
Strickland was arrested in June, but the arrest was not made public until public records were filed on July 8. Sharon Heights Baptist cut ties with him as soon as church leaders learned of the charges, according to a statement released by the church last week.
Strickland remains free on $70,000 bond.