A South Florida Preacher Charged With Sexual Battery of a Minor

| Apr 1, 2021 | Catholic Church

A 34-year old South Florida preacher, Junior Augustin, has been charged with sexual battery and lewd and lascivious behavior of a minor. The criminal investigation began after a mother found sexually explicit messages and photos on her teen daughter’s cell phone from the preacher.  Augustin lives in Deerfield Beach and works at Solid Rock the Seventh Day Church, located at 3520 W Broward Blvd #215, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312.

According to the Broward County Sheriff’s office, on March 30, 2021, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives arrested the preacher on charges of sexual battery on a minor 16 or 17 years of age and sex offense of a victim over 12 and up to 15 years of age.  The victim, Augustin’s goddaughter, stayed at Augustin’s home to assist with babysitting his eight children (ages 2-10) while the preacher’s wife was in the hospital. The police report states that she stayed at his home all of January and February 2021.

In March, the teen returned home, and her mother noticed her behavior seemed off, which made her mother suspicious, the Sheriff’s Office said. The teen’s mother took her daughter’s cellphone and saw sexually explicit photos and messages of her daughter and Junior Augustin expressing their love for each other sent in the Whatsapp and Telegram apps.

Augustin later admitted to the sexual acts and made a voluntary confession during two regularly recorded meetings at a his church. Detectives received the recordings of Junior Augustin’s confession. In the first recording, Augustin admits to receiving the nude pics and video or his god-daughter. The second meeting recording revealed that one morning he came home from work, got undressed and went to bed and left his bedroom door open. Augustin claims the victim entered his bedroom and initiated sexual activity with Junior who was asleep. Half asleep, Augustin says he believed that he was having sex with his wife. Once Augustin opened his eyes he says he realized that he was having sex the teen, not his wife. Augustin said he then pushed the girl away and told her not to tell her mother so she would not get in trouble.

The preacher is now behind bars for sexually battering the 16-year-old girl on a $50,000 bond for each charge. The investigation is ongoing.

Sexual abuse by a member of the clergy is a breach of trust at the highest level. The lawyers at Horowitz Law have been representing survivors of clergy abuse for more than twenty years. In cases across the country and in almost every state, our lawyers advocate for sexual abuse victims by priests and other clergy. If you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault at a church or other religious organization, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected]