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Ex-Tulsa megachurch janitor sentenced to 18 months

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October 18, 2013 04:11 PM EST | AP

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TULSA, Okla. — TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A former janitor at a Tulsa megachurch was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for making a lewd proposal to a 14-year-old girl.

Israel Castillo, who worked at the 17,000-member Victory Christian Center in south Tulsa, pleaded guilty in August to sending lewd Facebook messages to the teenage congregant. He had no pre-arranged deal with prosecutors.

Before his August plea, Castillo repeatedly said he was not guilty because he didn't know the girl who received the messages was underage — a claim refuted by prosecutors.

Friday's sentencing brings to a close the criminal portion of the scandal that engulfed the worldwide ministry last summer.

Another former Victory janitor, Chris Denman, was sentenced to 55 years in prison in December for sex crimes including the rape of a 13-year-old girl in a ministry stairwell. Five Victory employees — including the son and daughter-in-law of ministry co-founder and head pastor Sharon Daugherty — were charged because they waited two weeks before reporting that rape to authorities.

The only remaining piece of the Victory scandal involves a civil claim brought last September by the mother of the 13-year-old rape victim. She alleges the church was more worried about damage control than the well-being of her daughter — an argument the ministry denies. That case is set for a January jury trial.

In March, youth pastors John and Charica Daugherty received five-year deferred sentences after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of waiting to report the August 2012 rape. The couple was ordered by the court to visit at least 20 organizations that work with children, such as churches and day cares, to talk with employees about promptly reporting abuse.

Three of the Daughertys' co-workers also pleaded no contest to failing to report child abuse. Paul Willemstein and Anna George were sentenced to 30 days in jail, and Harold "Frank" Sullivan received a one-year suspended sentence.