Tag Archive: Roshad Thomas

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.

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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.

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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.

Black Collar Crime: Former Evangelical Youth Pastor Roshad Thomas Charged with Sexually Molesting Children

roshad thomas

Roshad Thomas, former youth pastor at Calvary Chapel in Tallahassee, Florida and founder of Crosswild Ministries, (link no longer active) has been arrested for sexually molesting children.

WTXL-27 reports:

A former youth pastor has been arrested for sex acts with children.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office arrested 41-year-old Roshad Thomas on six counts of sex offense against a child.

On July 11, special victims unit detectives spoke to a victim who said Thomas had fondled the victim about 10 years ago when the victim was 13 years old.

As detectives investigated, they found four more victims.

Deputies say each one described sexual encounters with Thomas from 2007-2014. Thomas voluntarily spoke to detectives Monday.

After the interview, he was taken to jail.

According to his LinkedIn page, Thomas was the director of student programs at Live the Life and co-author of Champions, a curriculum for teenage boys.

He is also the founder of realife Inc. and CRosSwild Ministries.(link no longer active)

Prior to that, Thomas served as a high school guidance counselor, community activist, and youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Tallahassee.

The Tallahassee Democrat adds:

A Tallahassee youth counselor who worked at Maclay School as a life management teacher has been arrested in connection with molesting children.

Roshad Thomas, a 41-year-old former director of student programs at Live the Life and Maclay life management, was arrested by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office Monday on six counts of child fondling.

Court documents detailing the incidents have not yet been filed, but Thomas’ name appeared in Tuesday’s Leon County Jail booking report. He is being held at the jail without bond and appeared before a judge Tuesday morning.

LCSO detectives say a victim came forward to say Thomas had fondled him or her about 10 years ago at age 13. Four others came forward during the investigation, according to an LCSO news release. The victims described sexual encounters with Thomas between 2007 and 2014.

After Thomas voluntarily spoke with investigators Monday, he was arrested.

A statement from Maclay’s Director of Communications Kim McWilliams confirmed Thomas was contracted to teach three life management classes in the upper school but that none of the allegations surrounding his arrest involve Maclay students.

“Earlier today, it was brought to our attention that Roshad Thomas, a former member of the Maclay School faculty, who taught Life Management in the Upper School during the 2016-2017 school year, was arrested for alleged sexual misconduct committed prior to 2015,” McWilliams wrote. “Mr. Thomas also worked with several of our sports teams and Middle School Life Management classes. After speaking with the authorities, the allegations do not involve any students from Maclay.”

Emails obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat between parents and Maclay’s Headmaster James Milford that indicate Thomas was hired in 2016 as the lead of a program for character education.

Parents express concern with the contracted “Get Real” program’s connection to Live the Life’s faith-based messaging and teachings. The optional “risky sexual behavior” reduction program was directed at seventh and eighth-grade students and described as secular without mention of faith or religion.

“Get Real training is a highly successful skills course approved by the federal government which teaches students how, why and when to exercise self-control and how to develop healthy relationships,” an email detailing the program to parents said.

McWilliams said Thomas used the “Get Real” curricula along with others in his teaching.

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Thomas hasn’t worked at the Tallahassee offices of Live the Life since January 2016, said Zac Funari, an executive assistant to the organization’s Founding President Richard Albertson. Funari said the organization was in the middle of reemploying Thomas for a South Florida position but those talks have stopped.

Albertson in a statement said Thomas worked fr Live the Life, along with other organizations, around the time of the incidents but the organization has not been contacted by law enforcement leading him to believe the allegations did not involve children in the program.

“Live the Life was one of a number of agencies that Roshad was associated with during part of the time frame that the incidents allegedly took place,” Alberrtson wrote. “We have not been contacted by the sheriff’s department, any of the victims, or any of the families of the victims, which leads us to believe that all of the incidents occurred outside of Roshad’s involvement with our organization. And if we are contacted by the authorities, we will cooperate in any way possible. If these allegations are true, our primary concern is for the students whose lives have been turned upside down because of the faith and trust they gave innocently to an adult in a position of power and great influence.”

A bio for Thomas appeared on the website of John Rosemond, a parenting and family raising psychologist, public speaker, author and syndicated columnist. It was taken down Tuesday (link no longer active) but included the number for the Tallahassee office of Live the Life and a link to the organization’s website.

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According to Thomas’ bio page:

Roshad Thomas is an accomplished and world-renowned public speaker, counselor, consultant, and mentor for teens and parents of all races and cultures. He has spoken at numerous organizations, seminars, retreats, churches, and events and has an unparalleled ability to quickly connect with his audience whether it is one person or hundreds. His laid back humorous style coupled with his vast experience allows him to address any issue in a way that is comfortable yet informative.

Having been on the front lines as a high school guidance counselor and community activist for almost 10 years, Roshad is extremely knowledgeable about issues that teens and parents deal with on a daily basis and is able to consistently provide practical guidance and solutions on many levels. This has earned him the title of expert in the eyes of many. When he speaks or presents, his passion, love, and excitement are revealed in a way where you not only leave feeling full of wisdom and inspired, but you’ll immediately want to bring him back.

Roshad is the founder of realife inc. and CRosSWILD Ministries. He received his B.S. in Psychology with honors distinction from Florida State University. He continued his graduate education at Florida State University and received his Master’s and Specialist degrees in Counseling and Human Systems, specializing in children and adolescents. He was certified in Guidance counseling for 12 years by Florida Department of Education. Trained personally under worldwide parent guru John Rosemond in parent coaching. He is also one of the few nationally certified Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist in the state of Florida as certified by the NAEA and has been invited to be featured on the national website parentguru.com.

– Masters and Specialist degree in Counseling from Florida State University

– Certified High School Guidance Counselor from 2000-2012

– Trained personally under parenting expert John Rosemond

– Certified Parent Coach

– Co-Author of Champions Curriculum for Teenage Boys

– 15 years experience working with teens in Tallahassee

– Certified Specialist in Sexual Risk Avoidance

– Certified Get REAL (Relationship Education and Leadership) Training

– Features on National parenting website parentguru.com

Thomas’ LinkedIn profile states: (link no longer active)

Roshad Thomas is an accomplished and world-renowned public speaker, counselor, consultant, and mentor for teens and parents of all races and cultures. He has spoken at numerous organizations, seminars, retreats, churches, and events and has an unparalleled ability to quickly connect with his audience whether it is one person or hundreds. His laid back humorous style coupled with his vast experience allows him to address any issue in a way that is comfortable yet informative.

Having been on the front lines as a high school guidance counselor and community activist for almost 10 years, Roshad is extremely knowledgeable about issues that teens and parents deal with on a daily basis and is able to consistently provide practical guidance and solutions on many levels. This has earned him the title of expert in the eyes of many. When he speaks or presents, his passion, love and excitement are revealed in a way where you not only leave feeling full of wisdom and inspired, you’ll immediately want to bring him back.

Roshad is the Director of Student Programs at Live the Life and founder of CRosSWILD Ministries. He received his B.S. in Psychology with honors distinction from Florida State University. He continued his graduate education at Florida State University and received his Master’s and Specialist degrees in Counseling and Human Systems, specializing in children and adolescents. He was certified in Guidance counseling for 12 years by Florida Department of Education. Trained personally under worldwide parent guru John Rosemond in parent coaching. He is also one of the few nationally certified Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist in the state of Florida as certified by the NAEA.

To set up an appointment or book him as speaker, call Live the Life at 850-668-3700 or visit www.livethelife.org.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Thomas was a youth pastor at Calvary Chapel in Tallahassee, Florida for almost fourteen years. For seven years, Thomas was the student life director for Live the Life. Live the Life’s website states that their mission is:

Communities will become “divorce-free zones”, where divorces are rarely, if ever, wanted or needed, and where strong marriages are encouraged, nurtured, developed, and maintained. As our dream comes true, more children will grow up in safe, happy, and healthy married families characterized by nurturing parents, permanence and better life outcomes.

Update

The Tallahassee Democrat reports:

As many as 10 men have come forward telling Leon County Sheriff’s Office investigators they, as teens, were fondled by Tallahassee youth counselor and pastor Roshad Thomas.

Thomas, who already is facing six counts of child fondling, was charged with an additional five counts of lewd and lascivious acts or exhibitionism with children on Tuesday.

After the 41-year-old was first arrested on July 17, LCSO investigators learned more about how he used his position to gain access to young boys. Five others came forward to say they too were victims.

One man, who was 12 at the time of the incident, said his parents asked Thomas to counsel him during their divorce. The first time he was “groped,” the now adult victim told investigators, was when his parents dropped him off at a Walmart parking lot and he left with Thomas.

From that encounter in 2009, according to court records, he was fondled by Thomas as many as 10 times.

The victim said after he turned 15, Thomas called to say, “I hope you understand I love you and anything I might have done to you was purely out of godly love,” according to court records.

The other four victims leveling accusations against Thomas, who at one point worked as a counselor at various churches in Tallahassee and as a life management teacher at Maclay School, said they were groped while spending time at his home.

The victims ranged in age from 11 to 15, according to court records. The reported incidents date back to 2007.

Each told LCSO investigators Thomas would grab their genitals in a joking manner and would create a feeling of trust between them. One said Thomas told him he had been approached about being too playful when he touched the boys and indicated he would stop if asked.

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