Ex-Victory Christian Center worker gets 55-year-prison term

TULSA — A former janitor at a Tulsa megachurch engulfed in a sex-abuse scandal was sentenced to 55 years in prison Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl in the church's stairwell.

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, AP Published: December 12, 2012
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TULSA — A former janitor at a Tulsa megachurch engulfed in a sex-abuse scandal was sentenced to 55 years in prison Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl in the church's stairwell.

Chris Denman also was sentenced to 5 years of probation and a $12,000 fine.

Denman pleaded guilty in October to first-degree rape, forcible oral sodomy of a child, lewd molestation, making a lewd proposal to a child and two counts of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime.

He did not have a plea agreement with prosecutors and had faced up to life in prison.

Denman was accused in the August rape of a girl on the campus of Victory Christian Center, a worldwide ministry located in south Tulsa that has 17,000 members. Denman was also charged with molesting a 15-year-old girl and making a lewd proposal to a 12-year-old girl.

A second former church employee, Israel Castillo, awaits trial on a charge of making a lewd or indecent proposal to a child. Prosecutors allege that Castillo sent explicit Facebook messages to a 14-year-old girl he had known for at least two years.

Five employees of the church, including the son and daughter-in-law of Victory head pastor Sharon Daugherty, also face misdemeanor charges. They're accused of waiting two weeks to report the alleged rape of the 13-year-old girl by Denman.

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