An Oklahoma church is currently doing damage control after a lawsuit was filed against them claiming a 13-year-old girl was raped and the church center’s personnel knew but chose to wait two weeks to report the alleged attack.
Tulsa’s 17,000-member megachurch, the Victory Christian Center, has been sued by the alleged victim’s mother, and accuses the church of not only waiting two weeks to report the incident, but attempted to conceal that it had occurred.
The lawsuit seeks more than $75,00. Five members, and two former members of the ministry have been arrested, including Israel Shalom Castillo, who turned himself in at the Tulsa jail. The former employee has been charged with making a lewd proposal to a child and using a computer to commit a sex crime.
A 20-year-old former church employee Chris Denman has also been arrested for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl in a stairwell on August 13. He has also been charged with molesting a 15-year-old girl in August as well.
The five current church members arrested:
Paul Willemstein, 32 – associate youth pastor
Anna George, 24 - high school outreach program director
Harold “Frank” Sullivan, 73 - the church’s human resources director
John Daugherty, 28 - senior high youth pastor
Charica Daugherty, 27 - assistant senior high youth pastor
The two Daughertys are Pastor Sharon Daugherty’s son and daughter-in-law.
Pastor Daugherty has stated she was told aware of the alleged attack on the 13-year-old, but trusted the ministry to “follow in-house policies on reporting such incidents,” and has not been charged.
Police say believe there are at least three victims.
Pastor Daugherty is also Victory Christian’s co-founder. The church’s daily broadcasts are seen in more than 200 countries.