Charges Filed Against Tulsa Church Employees Amid Sex Abuse Investigation
TULSA, Oklahoma - Charges were filed Monday against five employees of Victory Christian Center, who police say failed to report the sexual abuse of a child on the Victory campus.
Police said a 13-year-old girl reported to the employees that she was raped by a man who also worked at Victory. They said those employees waited two weeks before notifying the girl's parents or police.
Just a few years ago, Oklahoma changed its law to say anyone who suspects child abuse must report it in a timely manner.
Charica Dene Daugherty, 27, John Samuel Daugherty, 28, Anna George, 24, Harold F. Sullivan, 73, and Paul Wilemstein, 33, were all charged with misdemeanor failure to report child abuse.
They are the first people in Tulsa County to be charged under that re-written law.
Arrest warrants, each carrying a $1,500 bond, were issued for all five.
Victory Christian released a statement Friday, addressing the controversy that followed after 20-year-old Chris Denman was arrested for the rape.
Victory Christian said that the written policy they have in place for dealing with situations of alleged abuse was not followed and that George, Sullivan, and Wilemstein were suspended Friday.
The church said the police investigation determined that John and Charica Daugherty had some knowledge of the incident, as well. They were also suspended on Monday.
Denman pleaded not guilty to the charges against him on Friday.
On Monday, the DA charged a second suspect, Israel Shalom Castillo, 23, with lewd or indecent proposal to a child and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime.
He is not in custody.
Victory Christian is conducting an internal investigation.
They say their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.