|Updated: 10/18/2013 5:12 pm
||Published: 10/18/2013 6:37 am
A former janitor at a Tulsa megachurch was sentenced for making a lewd proposal to a child.
Israel Castillo pleaded guilty during an August hearing. He was sentenced to six years: 18 months in prison and the rest of it on probation. He will get credit for time served. He's served a month so far.
Castillo will also have to register as a sex offender and have GPS tracking for the rest of his life.
During the hearing Castillo gave a tear-filled statement asking the judge to go easy on him. He quoted the Bible and said he wanted a chance to make a better life for himself.
Prosecutor Sarah McAmis said Castillo never took responsibility for his actions, “I can only hope that during his incarceration and during the counseling and therapy that he will be provided, that he will come to know and understand that it was him who caused all of this; and the pain and the hurt that he caused, not only to his victim, but to his family and to all of the different members of the church and the church community.”
His lawyer says the entire sentence should have been probation and Castillo does not belong in prison, "Not only has he never touched the victim here, he’s never touched a girl in his life. He’s never had sex in his life, and he has to register as a sex offender.”
Castillo worked at the 17,000-member Victory Christian Center in south Tulsa and was accused of sending lewd Facebook messages to a 14-year-old girl.
Until his plea in August, Castillo had repeatedly pleaded not guilty, saying that he did not know the girl who received the messages was underage - a claim refuted by prosecutors.
Another former church janitor, Chris Denman, was sentenced to 55 years in prison last year on various sex charges, including the rape of a 13-year-old girl on ministry grounds.