The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
Evangelical youth pastor Roshad Thomas was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of “eight counts of 2nd degree felony lewd and lascivious molestation with a victim over 12 under 18, one count of 2nd degree felony lewd or lascivious exhibition, and one count of 3rd degree felony of aggravated assault with the intent to commit a felony.” Roshad Thomas was a youth pastor at Calvary Chapel in Tallahassee, Florida. I was not able to verify if this Calvary Chapel in Tallahassee previously employed Thomas. I did find via the Wayback Machine that this church went through a lot of leadership churn over the past decade. At the end of this post, I’ve attached several screenshots of Thomas’s LinkedIn page. I suspect that the aforementioned Calvary Chapel church was indeed where Thomas was a volunteer youth pastor.
You can read my previous post about Thomas here.
A former Tallahassee youth pastor accused of molesting at least 10 minors has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Roshad Thomas was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison followed by probation for the rest of his life.
He will also be required to register as a sexual predator.
Thomas took an open plea on eight counts of 2nd degree felony lewd and lascivious molestation with a victim over 12 under 18, one count of 2nd degree felony lewd or lascivious exhibition, and one count of 3rd degree felony of aggravated assault with the intent to commit a felony.
He was arrested in July 2017 on six counts of sex offense against a child. Thomas later picked up four additional charges when more victims came forward.
The victims’ ages ranged from 11 to 16 years old.
According to his LinkedIn page, Thomas served as a youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Tallahassee for more than 13 years.
In 2017, ABC-27 reported:
Shocking details are being revealed about a man who worked with local children.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office arrested 41-year-old Roshad Thomas on six counts of sex offense against a child.
Thomas is a former youth pastor at a Tallahassee church, who, until recently, was a contracted employee at Maclay School.
A school official tells WTXL Thomas is a former member of the Maclay School faculty. He taught Life Management in the Upper School during the 2016-2017 school year.
Although these allegations of abuse are just coming out, a victim who spoke with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said it happened about a decade ago. The victim told detectives they’d been fondled by Thomas when they were 13 years old.
However, as detectives investigated, they found four more victims. Deputies say each one described sexual encounters with Thomas that happened from 2007-2014.
According to the affidavit, five victims reported on numerous instances that Thomas invited the victims to his apartment. At the time, the victims’ ages ranged from 13 to 16 years old.
According to the document, it was common that the victims would be invited back to Thomas’s apartment to “hang out”. Once there, the victims were fondled and touched inappropriately at Thomas’s apartment.
One victim described Thomas as their mentor, telling investigators that they looked up to him and even “worshiped” him.
When Thomas was interviewed he admitted to fondling all five victims above and below their clothing.
He told investigators that it was an attempt to connect intimately, but not sexually.
After speaking to detectives on Monday, he was taken to jail.
In July 2017, Thomas posted the following to Instagram:
Sorry to those I haven’t had the chance to tell this face-to-face but this is my last week living in Tallahassee. I have accepted a job as Vice President of student programs for a nonprofit organization in Ft Lauderdale Florida. I chose to post this picture because this is my mom dropping me off in Tallahassee in 1993. I had no idea then how much God would use this city to change my life. (yes, that is a Miami shirt I am wearing.) Tallahassee is where I fell in love with Jesus, the NOLES, and all of you. This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make but I know that our time on earth is limited. Whatever amount of time he chooses to give me here I want to spend being more and more like Jesus everyday and making maximum impact for the Gospel. Thanks for all the love and trust you have given me and I pray that I go on to do things that make you proud to say you know me. I won’t be a stranger. I will come back and visit often. I pray, with all my heart, that everyone reading this will be in heaven with me one day and we will hangout forever. Until then! In the words of one of my favorite songs. “I have decided to follow Jesus no turning back, no turning back.” I love you all so much!
Thomas was arrested a short time later.