Okla. Megachurch, Victory Christian Center, Ex-Janitor Sentenced to 18 Months for Sexual Proposal to 14-Y-O Girl
A former employee of the Victory Christian Center megachurch in south Tulsa, Okla., has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for making a lewd proposal to a 14-year-old girl.
Israel Castillo, who worked as a janitor at the church, will also be required to serve more than four years of probation and register as a sex offender, as per the sentencing by Tulsa County District Judge William Kellough on Friday.
Castillo, who is from Texas, will have to serve at least 85 percent of the 18-month prison term before becoming eligible for release, according to Tulsa World. In addition, he shall not be allowed to have Internet access for two years, nor can he be employed where minor females work as long as he is on probation.
Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Castillo to 15 years in prison during Friday's hearing. He didn't have any plea agreement with prosecutors. However, Judge Kellough noted that the convict did not physically touch the girl and had no criminal record.
Castillo, 24, one of the accused in sex scandals involving the 17,000-member church that came to fore last summer, admitted before Kellough in August that he sent lewd Facebook messages to a teenage church member.
Castillo admitted to the crime a month after another ex-employee of the church, Chris Denman, was given 55 years in prison for raping a 13-year-old girl in a stairwell on the church's campus last year.
Five more church employees, including the son and daughter-in-law of Victory Christian Center Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty, were charged with taking more than two weeks to report the rape to police after they learned about it.
In March, youth pastors John and Charica Daugherty pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor of waiting two weeks to report the crime, and were awarded five-year deferred sentences with no jail time. Special Judge Bill Hiddle said the son and daughter-in-law of Pastor Daugherty did not carry as much blame for the incident as their three other co-workers who were sent to 30 days in jail. The judge ordered the youth pastors to visit at least 20 organizations that work with children to talk with employees about the proper ways of reporting abuse.
Last September, the mother of the 13-year-old victim filed a civil suit against the church, seeking more than $75,000 in damages and accusing officials of attempting "damage control" rather than report the incident immediately. The case is set for a jury trial in January.