Georgia megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar has successfully had battery charges against him dropped after he completed an anger management program, after accusations last year that he physically attacked his 15-year-old daughter.
"As a prosecutor it is my job to strike the appropriate balance of punishment and rehabilitation in every case I handle," said State Court Solicitor Jamie K. Inagawa, according to TheCitizen.com. "I feel that my office has accomplished just such a balance in this case. The defendant has been punished for his actions, concerns for his possible re-offending have been addressed and the family unit has been preserved."
Dollar, 50, leads the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in College Park, Ga., at an 8,500-seat sanctuary called the World Dome. In addition to his 30,000-member College Park congregation, the popular prosperity preacher has a 6,000-member church located in New York City.
Dollar was originally arrested and taken into custody at Fayette County Jail on June 7, 2012, where he was later released on a $5,000 bond. It was reported that the minister was suspected to have "slightly hurt" his 15-year old daughter after they got into an argument about her attending a party. Dollar's 19-year-old daughter, Alexandria Dollar, later claimed that she saw her father "put both hands around her sister's neck and [choke] her for about five seconds," after which she allegedly saw him slap her younger sister in the face and throw her to the ground.
A deputy Fayette County officer added that upon inspection, the girl appeared to have a scratch on the right side of her neck. Dollar reportedly told officers that his daughter had become very disrespectful after the argument over the party, and she hit him when he tried to wrestle her to the floor.
"As a father I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times, and I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children. The facts in this case will be handled privately to further protect my children. My family thanks you for your prayers and continued support," Dollar said in a statement after the incident.
Judge Inagawa has now dismissed the charges against the minister, but said that he will have to pay $1,072 in fees and court costs.
Dollar was originally charged with simple battery, or family violence, but since he opted to take the pre-trial intervention program, the pastor did not have to enter a plea in the case.
TheCitizen.com reported that the anger management program lasted three months, during which the World Changers Church International leader was required to report to a probation officer and avoid violent contact with anyone. He successfully completed the anger management classes, and his probation officer said that he incurred no new charges during in that time period.