A Tulsa County District Court judge Monday refused to dismiss a misdemeanor charge against five employees of Tulsa's Victory Christian Center.
Youth pastors John and Charica Daugherty, and three other employees of the church are charged with failing to report suspected child abuse in a timely manner.
A young girl says she was raped by a Victory Christian employee in August.
Their attorney, Jason Robertson, said what happened to the girl was a crime, but it wasn't child abuse, according to the law's definition, so the Daughertys had no legal duty to report it.
He also argued the Daughertys had no direct knowledge of the rape—only bits and pieces of information they'd heard second- and third-hand.
Robertson said relatives of the girl had the same information, yet they were not charged with failing to report it in a timely manner. He called it selective prosecution and a political smear campaign.
He said he was disappointed the judge didn't dismiss the charge, but said he welcomes a trial.
"We are ready for this to be heard in front of a jury. You heard part of it in there. We are confident a jury will do the right thing," Robertson said.
The Assistant DA, Sarah McAmis, argued that it doesn't matter if you know all the details or have all the facts or just heard things; you are legally duty bound to report it, and if you don't, you're breaking the law.
She said when two girls claim to be sexually assaulted, it defies all common sense and logic to think you wouldn't have to report it.
"It is clear the statute requires everyone who has reason to believe child abuse has happened to report it," McAmis said.
She said she, too, is anxious for a jury to hear all the facts and decide if a crime was committed.
That trial is set to begin December 12.