Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Roshad Thomas Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Molesting Children

roshad thomas

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.

ABC-27 reports:

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.

….

roshad thomas linkedin

roshad thomas linkedin 2

roshad thomas linkedin 3

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.

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3 Comments

  1. Randy

    I’m curious if anyone has ever done a study of the incident of sexual abuse amongst pastors versus other careers. Such as, does sexual abuse occur with a higher incidence among clergy in comparison to other careers. It would be difficult because I believe despite all the cases Bruce posts here many go unreported. I think if such a report was done or does exist it would show a higher rate of sexual abuse by church leaders. I’m not sure if sexual abusers are attracted to ministry, or ministry puts people in a position to be more vulnerable to taking sexually abusive actions. Of course, the guilt always lays with the abuser. I guess what I’m asking, does church leadership attract sexual abusers or does it turn people into sexual abusers? In ministry I’ve always had extremely well defined borders when dealing with people of the opposite sex or youth. I’m afraid many don’t and it leads to these tragic cases.

    Reply
    1. Matilda

      Partly is it not that x-tians are so gullible, so trusting, so easy to con? Predators will always seek a way into situations where there are vulnerable victims to groom, like becoming Scout leaders or forming a relationship with a woman who has small children whom they can gain the trust of and abuse. They are by nature, cunning and devious and become skilled at presenting a plausible squeaky-clean image to those they want to abuse.

      Reply
  2. Brian

    This now incarerated preacher, Roshad might not belong in prison more than he belongs in supervised treatment for his sickness which was supported in his faith. Yeah, I know he was doing Christianity all wrong. Problem is, there was probably never a right Christianity. I find it sad that Christians are willing to embrace clever excuses just to stay in the feeling-club but then, is it about the truth of things anyway, the plain truth or more about the deep feeling of being spoken to on the road, having visions and weeping for joy as the spirit fills you with conviction? A Christian will say that they feel so free and wonderful because Jesus is alive, resurrected. As if they have never experienced real love before. As if the harm in their lives has never allowed them to be crazy in love until they took the Christian hook, line and sinker. Finally, copyrighted, bona-fide love!
    Roshad Thomas is a sick man who perhaps tried the religion pill to medicate himself, to help him resist his sick ways. This is another problem with Christianity and belief in general, that it lures and targets the sick, the lonely and hurting. It embraces them with a new deceit, a temporary thrill of love and a balm. Then it ‘churches’ them. Suffer the little children to come unto…. So sad. Of course it just isn’t religion that encourages abuse like this… so do men who trade in child porn on the internet and those who sexualize children in pageants.

    Reply

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