Mother of alleged 13-year-old victim files lawsuit against Victory Christian Center

TULSA COUNTY, Okla. - The mother of an alleged victim in Tulsa's Victory Christian Center scandal is suing the church.

The woman, who will not be named to protect her daughter, is the mother of the 13-year-old girl accusing former Victory Christian employee Chris Denman of rape.

The girl told investigators last month the rape occurred Aug. 13 in a stairwell inside the church near the band room.

"It scares me to death to think about this man at church camp all summer long to be around our children," she said shortly after the allegations arose. "The church is not what it makes itself out to be."

The mother is accusing the church of gross negligence and intimidation.

"Had the Defendant conducted a reasonable investigation [of Denman], it would have identified Denman as unsuitable for the position for which he was employed," the suit states.

The suit also accuses senior pastor Sharon Daugherty of having knowledge of the potential assault, even telephoning her to "offer prayers", along with five other staff members arrested Monday for failure to report child abuse.

The alleged victim says she told church leaders on Aug. 15 of the rape. The church first told investigators of the accusations on Aug. 30, despite a policy requiring allegations of abuse to be reported to DHS within one hour.

Oklahoma also requires "every person having reason to believe that a child under the age of eighteen (18) is a person of abuse or neglect shall report the matter promptly to the Department of Human Services."

Denman, also accused of molesting a 15-year-old girl and who pleaded not guilty to both charges last week, is not the only former Victory Christian employee accused of sexual misconduct.

Israel Castillo, 23, was arrested Thursday on charges of making a lewd proposal to a minor and using a computer to facilitate a sex crime.

Tulsa police say it's possible another suspect remains at large and even more victims have yet to come forward, though detectives haven't named the newest possible suspect.

Police say there could be at least two more victims, bringing the total to five, but the parents of one victim are reluctant to cooperate, telling police they don't want to become involved with a police investigation.

Victory Christian has released three statements (https://www.victory.com/mediastatement) in response.

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