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A Catholic in Ohio Sentenced to twelve Services in Baptist Church by Judge

An American Catholic who got into a fight with a street preacher has been sentenced to attend services at a Baptist church for 12 Sundays.

Judge William Mallory handed down the sentence to 23-year-old Jake Strotman at a court in Cincinnati last Wednesday, as an alternative to 90 days in jail for assault.

The incident occurred one evening in January after Strotman, a self-employed double glazing salesman, was on his way home after celebrating the victory of the Cincinnati Cyclones hockey team over the Fort Wayne Komets with friends in a local bar.

Strotman confronted a group of Baptist street preachers.

“They were telling me I was going to hell. I was asking them: ‘Why do you think you can condemn people?" The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

In a short time a crowd gathered and the shouting turned to blows. A camera was broken and the Baptists tried to make a citizen’s arrest.

Strotman ended up punching Johnson, who suffered a small cut to his face.

Strotman admitted he had been drinking. He said he never meant to hurt anyone.

He just wanted to understand their ministry, he said.

He was charged with low-level assault. Judge Mallory said he admired the fact that Johnson wanted to spread the word of God because he is religious too, but he didn’t approve of people trying to impose their religious beliefs on others. As Strotman had committed a crime, the judge said he was “open to suggestions" with regard to sentencing.

Strotman offered to serve a church of Johnson’s choosing.

The judge sentenced Strotman to attend 12 consecutive 90 minuteSunday services at Morning Star Baptist Church. He also paid $480 in court fines and a $2,800 legal bill.

On leaving court, Strotman told the Cincinatti Enquirer he was satisfied with his sentence.

“Three months, that’s not that bad," he said. “I think it’s a nice example of hearing people out instead of getting angry and jumping to conclusions.

“I’m going to listen with both my ears and keep my mouth shut," he said. “Then, maybe I’ll try to sell them some windows."



  1. Doug Reply

    The judge was obviously a closet protestant. Hopefully, the catholic will be able to convert some of the assailants who threatened him with eternal damnation. Why is it that only physical assault is considered a crime?

    1. John Hallman Reply

      Doug, they didn’t “assault” the rude guy. While street preachers can be a little overt sometimes, they were probably trying to tell the guy that without a true belief in Jesus, he was not able to get to heaven (see John 6:40 and numerous other places where Jesus taught this). They no more threatened him with eternal damnation than they rose from the grave. God tells us what is needed. Let’s hope the guy hears some good teaching at the Baptist church, and he will come away with a better appreciation for the Word of God, and perhaps his salvation as well.

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