Former Victory Christian Center Employee Pleads Guilty To Rape

Monday, October 29th 2012, 10:12 am
By: Craig Day

A former employee of Victory Christian Center has pleaded guilty to the sex abuse charges against him.

District Judge Bill Musseman repeatedly asked Chris Denman if he understood the decision he was about to make, if he knew some of the charges against him carry the possibility of a life sentence.

Denman responded that he understood, and pleaded guilty to all charges.

Denman faced six sex counts, including rape of a 13-year-old girl, lewd molestation of a 15-year-old girl, and making a lewd proposal to a 12-year-old.

In a surprise move, he pleaded guilty to all charges.

Prosecutors say the former employee of Victory Christian Church raped a 13-year-old girl in August on the church's campus.

10/11/2012 Related Story: Arraignment Delayed For Former Tulsa Church Employee Accused Of Rape

The guilty pleas are not part of a deal with prosecutors.

"Sometimes defendants, after realizing the amount of evidence against them, they do believe that's their best course of action," said Assistant District Attorney Sarah McAmis.

Judge Musseman repeatedly asked Denman if he understood his rights, including the right to a jury trial.

"Nobody wants to get down the road and have someone take it back, and realize what the potential consequences were, so I think the judge did a good job of making sure that he, in fact, understood what he was doing today," McAmis said.

Denman faces up to a life sentence in prison. Several of the crimes are 85-percent crimes, meaning he'll have to serve 85-percent of whatever sentence he gets for them.

The judge told Denman he would not be lenient, and that Denman would spend a lot of time in prison.

But there will be a pre-sentence investigation where victims could speak and Denman can tell his side, before sentencing happens on December 12.

"I can only hope that he will accept some responsibility in front of the judge and perhaps show some remorse for his crimes. That's certainly what we'd want and feel is appropriate, at this point," McAmis said.

Five Victory Christian employees are accused of waiting more than two weeks to report the suspected rape of the 13-year-old girl. They're due in court Wednesday.

The case of a second former Victory Christian employee, Israel Castillo, was delayed last week. Castillo is charged with making a lewd proposal to a 15-year-old girl and using a computer to commit a sex crime.

His hearing was postponed until November 29 so detectives can interview two other people who came forward as possible witnesses, according to Tulsa Police Department's Child Crisis Unit.