Man charged with rape in Victory Christian case waives preliminary hearing
BY JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Thursday, October 11, 2012
10/11/12 at 2:48 PM
A man charged with raping a 13-year-old girl at Victory Christian Center appeared before a judge Thursday morning and waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Tulsa County District Court with no current plea agreements with the state.
Chris Denman, 20, was brought to court in a gray and white jumpsuit and answered, “Yes, sir,” to all questions from the judge confirming the blind waiver.
Denman has been jailed since Sept. 5 and charged later on six counts of sex crimes against children, including the rape of a 13-year-old girl, according to court records.
Denman’s charged also involve two additional girls: a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old.
Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris said Denman’s waiver shows Denman did not challenge the state’s requirement to show evidence that a crime occurred and the right person was charged at a preliminary hearing.
“He’s saying, ‘I don’t need to see the evidence,’” Harris said.
Denman’s six charges are first degree rape of a child, forcible oral sodomy of a child, lewd molestation, lewd proposal to a child, and two counts of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime.
Denman’s waiver on Thursday sends him to an arraignment scheduled for Oct. 22, when he will be able to enter a plea in the case.
If he pleads not guilty and goes to jury trial, Denman could face up to life for the rape charge, up to life for the sodomy charge, up to 20 years for each of the computer related charges and up to 20 years for each of the lewd proposal and lewd molestation charges, Harris said.
Harris did not appear in court Thursday morning but provided details outside the courtroom after Denman’s appearance.
The charges against Denman come from an alleged rape at Victory Christian Center that was reported as soon as two days later to church officials but didn’t get reported to police for two weeks.
Israel Shalom Castillo, 23, is charged with making a lewd or indecent proposal to a child and using a computer to facilitate a sex crime. Charges against Castillo involve a fourth alleged victim at the church -- a 15-year-old girl.
Denman and Castillo, both members of the church, worked as janitors in the same department at the church, according to information provided by Victory Christian.
The investigation into the child-sex allegations led to the charges of failure to report child abuse against five Victory Christian staff members, including the pastor’s son and daughter-in-law. All five were suspended from their employment at the church but are scheduled to return to work with more oversight, a church assistant pastor said last week.