Ex-Janitor At Victory Christian Pleads Guilty To Propositioning Minor

Friday, August 30th 2013, 3:29 pm

A former Tulsa Victory Christian janitor sits in jail after pleading guilty Friday to a charge of "making a lewd proposal to a minor." 

Israel Castillo was placed in handcuffs and booked into the Tulsa County jail just after he entered a blind guilty plea.

Castillo will have to wait two more months to learn exactly how long he'll spend behind bars, but he could face up to 20 years in prison. 

The 24-year-old admits he sent explicit Facebook messages to a 14-year-old girl he'd met at the Victory Christian Center, where he worked as a janitor. 

"He acknowledges that these messages, of course, should not have been exchanged, that this should not have happened and that he, as the adult exercised poor judgment," said Hugh Hood, Castillo's attorney.

Castillo pleaded not guilty in September 2012 and was set to go to trial next week.  His attorney says Castillo decided to enter a blind plea of guilty in hopes the court will give a lesser sentence than a jury.

9/28/2012 Related Story: Castillo Pleads Not Guilty In Victory Christian Sex Abuse Scandal

"We're hoping the court will take into consideration the fact that these messages were exchanged over just a few hours, one time, they were never acted upon and they were never repeated," said Hugh Hood.

Prosecutor, Sarah McAmis says she was ready for a jury trial, but for the victim's sake is pleased with the plea.

"Our main interest is the victim in this case and we're glad that she does not have to go through a public jury trial," said Sarah McAmis. 

In December 2012, 19-year-old Chris Denman, another former Victory Christian janitor was sentenced to 55 years in prison for committing a number of sex crimes against three girls, ages 12, 13 and 15. 

12/12/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Judge Sentences Ex-Victory Christian Center Worker To 55 Years

"It's a perfect example of how older individuals can prey on little girls, who don't have the age or wisdom or maturity to really understand what it is they're getting pulled into," said Sarah McAmis.

Five Victory Christian employees knew about the sex crimes for two weeks before calling Tulsa Police.

Youth director, Paul Willemstein and outreach director, Anna George were sentenced to 30 days in jail.  Resource Director, Harold Sullivan was given a one-year suspended sentence.  Senior High youth pastors, John and Charica Daugherty were each given a 5-year deferred sentence. 

Castillo's sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 19. 

McAmis wouldn't say what her recommended sentence will be, but says Castillo must be held accountable.

Castillo's attorney says his client will have to register as a sex offender, possibly for life, once he's served his time.