Former fugitive pastor in Vegas child sex case found guilty
A former Las Vegas area church pastor who became an
international fugitive on accusations that he sexually
assaulted girls as young as 7 in his congregation has been
A Clark County District Court jury on Thursday found Otis
Holland, 59, guilty of 17 felony charges, including child
sexual assault, lewdness, conspiracy to destroy evidence
and bribing a witness. He faces life in prison, with
sentencing scheduled for March 16.
The long-delayed trial started early January, but Holland
has been in jail since his arrest in January 2012 in Tijuana,
Mexico. A prosecutor said he had fled the country following
his initial arrest in December 2010.
Faith Church congregation in Henderson as “Reverend Otis,”
he was also featured before his arrest on the television
show “America’s Most Wanted.”
Prosecutors said Holland focused on sex as a path to
spirituality. He taught from the pulpit that most women
have burning desires blocked by sexual hang-ups that he
could teach them to get past, if given the chance.
Multiple women have testified that they had sex or sexual
contact with the former pastor when they were teens. They
said they didn’t talk at the time about the abuse with their
parents, who had sent them to Holland for counseling
against misbehavior like skipping school or smoking
after Sunday church services to a limousine fitted with a
back seat that reclined into a bed and used a sex toy on her
and told her he wanted to show her something that would
relieve tension and frustration. Another said she started
having sex with Holland when she was 15 and that he took
her to get monthly birth control injections. The
Associated Press typically does not identify people who say
they have been hurt in sexual assault cases.
Holland has denied wrongdoing. His defense attorney
suggested that the accusers concocted stories about being
abused because they thought they loved the pastor and
were jealous of his adult relationships, including with at
least two other women from the church.
His attorney, Carmine Colucci, couldn’t immediately be
reached for comment. But court he had cast Holland as a
generous leader who shared vehicles with church members
when they needed wheels.
He told a jury: “The limousine wasn’t used solely for sexual
activities. It was used for transportation.”
Holland was also accused of felony witness intimidation.
Authorities say he instructed a girl’s mother and her ex-
husband to destroy computer hard drives, sex toys and
church counseling session paperwork.