Main | Thursday, September 27, 2012

OKLAHOMA: Child Molestations And Cover-Ups At Tulsa's Massive Megachurch

Two employees at Tulsa's Victory Christian megachurch have been arrested for child molestation and several other high-level staffers have been accused of shielding those crimes.
More alleged sexual abuse victims at the 17,000-member Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Okla., have come forward, adding to charges already made against the megachurch that its staff delayed reporting the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl. Reports revealed that on Monday, prosecutors added two additional charges against 20-year-old Chris Denman, a former employee who was arrested for allegedly raping a 13-year old in a stairwell on the ministry's main campus in August. He is also being accused of molesting a 15-year-old girl and for using a computer to make a lewd proposal to a child and committing a sex crime involving a 12-year-old girl. Another former employee, Israel Castillo, was arrested last week over similar accusations of making a lewd proposal to a 15-year-old girl and using a computer to commit a sex crime, The Tulsa World shared. On Tuesday it was unveiled that there might be a fifth victim of sexual abuse and a third suspect could face charges if more information is provided on the currently undisclosed incident.
Five church employees have been suspended as the police investigate whether they protected the molesters.
"We deeply regret that our employees did not report these incidents to authorities within the proper amount of time. This failure within our organization weighs heavily on us, because our purpose is to help people and minister to their needs," Victory Christian Center has said. "Our internal response was unacceptable, and we are taking the proper steps to correct it." The mother of the assaulted 13-year-old girl filed a lawsuit against the church last week, claiming that Victory Christian Christian had not done enough to report the crime on time. "Rather than contacting the appropriate authorities, defendant (Victory Christian Center) chose to conduct its own 'investigation' with the ultimate purpose of doing damage control as opposed to protecting the victim", the lawsuit reads.

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