New details of Victory Christian sex-crime scandal revealed in court filing
BY JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Sunday, November 04, 2012
11/04/12 at 8:09 AM
Victory Christian church leaders allegedly substantiated child sex crime allegations and fired both suspects, but allowed one to continue attending the church and encouraged the other to "go somewhere else and start over," prosecutors say.
The court filing by prosecutors last week alleges Human Resources Director Harold Frank Sullivan and Director of Facilities Steve Worley fired Chris Denman for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl. The two told Denman he could continue to attend Victory Christian as a church member, the filing states.
The filing in Tulsa County District Court is in response to a motion to dismiss charges against John and Charica Daugherty.
Sullivan is charged with failure to report child abuse along with John and Charica Daugherty and youth pastors Anna George and Paul Willemstein.
Worley has not been charged with a crime.
Denman has pleaded guilty to charges of raping the 13-year-old girl and other sex-crime charges involving a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl.
Denman, 20, pleaded guilty Monday to six counts of child sex crimes with no plea deal from the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12.
According to court records, Denman told law enforcement officials he was attracted to 12- and 13-year-old girls because they "put out more easy."
Denman allegedly told investigators it was "easier" because they were too young to say no, according to the prosecution filing.
Furthermore, the filing alleges Sullivan and Worley also fired 23-year-old Israel Castillo after he admitted to sending Facebook messages to a 15-year-old girl.
Castillo is charged with lewd or indecent proposals to a child and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime.
The prosecution's filing this week quotes the alleged sexually explicit messages from Castillo to the 15-year-old girl.
Castillo's preliminary hearing was postponed last month after prosecutors said they are investigating whether there is a second victim in his case.
"According to Castillo, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Worley discussed the Grace Fellowship case with him and Mr. Worley told Castillo that he wished it could all be 'covered up', but he did not think that could be done."
Also, Sullivan and Worley "discussed that Castillo might leave the state, return to his parents in Texas, and start a new life," according to the filing by prosecutors.
The alleged meeting between Sullivan, Worley, Denman and Castillo occurred Aug. 24 - nine days after the first allegations were reported to church officials and about a week before the incidents were reported to police, according to court filings.
On Friday, Tulsa attorney Jason Robertson, who represents John and Charica Daugherty, filed a second motion to dismiss charges against the couple.
The court has not ruled on the Daughertys' first motion to dismiss charges.
The new filing argues the investigation shows Charica Daugherty was unaware of the rape allegations against the 13-year-old girl. It states she appropriately reported information she had received about other child sex crimes during the two weeks before police became involved.
Two youth pastors, identified as Christina Cummo and Natalie Downing, were the first to hear from the 13-year-old about her alleged rape, the defense motion states. They reported the allegations the same day to Willemstein and George, it states.
The motion to dismiss includes affidavits from Cummo and Downing in which they deny telling Charica Daugherty about the rape allegations.
According to the motion to dismiss, part of Charica Daugherty's charge is based on the police investigation that reported she was told about the rape.
Regarding John Daugherty, the motion to dismiss argues his charges are only based on inferences that he discussed the allegations with his wife.
The motion alleges John Daugherty was first told of the allegations about the 13-year-old rape victim on Aug. 26 and a 16-year veteran Tulsa police detective was notified about a day later.
Church officials reached out to a police officer to ask for advice several days before police were officially notified, the motion states. However, the detective didn't inform anyone about the information he had received, it states.
Police have said the officer advised church officials to report the crime by calling 911.
Friday's motion did not identify the detective.
"Interestingly, though, is that this detective is not charged under the same criminal statute as these defendants (John and Charica Daugherty)," the motion states.
"The question must be asked as to why the state of Oklahoma has chosen to turn a blind eye to the fact a member of law enforcement ... had information of (a) child being raped."
The motion argues three people other than those charged had access to the same information as the Daughertys but have not been charged.
The filing points toward the grandmother of the 13-year-old, who was allegedly told of some of the allegations, the mother of the alleged victim in Castillo's case and the Tulsa police detective.
Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty was also informed of the incidents during the two weeks, according to police and court filings.
According to prosecutors, details of meetings between Sharon Daugherty and other church officials held during the two-week lapse have not been disclosed.
Original Print Headline: New details revealed on Victory Christian sex-crime scandal
Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367
Chris Denman: Victory Christian officials fired Denman for the alleged rape, but said he could remain a member of the church.
Israel Shalom Castillo: Church leaders said he might return to Texas and "start a new life."