|Updated: 10/17/2012 10:18 am
||Published: 10/15/2012 7:59 pm
Days after the attorney for two Victory Christian Center staffers charged with Failure to Report Child Abuse filed a motion to dismiss those charges; a national group is slamming the employees.
On Friday, the attorney for VCC Youth Ministers John and Charica Daugherty filed the motion in Tulsa County District Court. Monday afternoon, the Executive Director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, said the motion to dismiss was “ridiculous.”
Barbara Blaine, the Executive Director of SNAP, didn't mince words.
“It's disappointing that one more time, church officials are trying to weasel out of their responsibility for their crimes,” she said.
The motion to dismiss the charges against the Daughertys says the two suspects in this case, Chris Denman, who has been charged first-degree rape of a 13-year-old girl, and Israel Castillo, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of making a lewd proposal to a child and using a computer to commit a sex crime, have not been charged with child abuse. The attorney for the Daughertys says that means his clients can't be charged with failure to report child abuse.
“I don't understand what the technicality is that would somehow allow a child to be raped and then somehow say that wasn't abuse of the child. That's ludicrous,” Blaine said.
In a statement to FOX23, the Daughertys attorney responded to SNAP, “Exercising one's legal rights is not a legal technicality. Any organization should support the fact that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. No one is denying a serious criminal offense was allegedly committed by Mr. Denman and Mr. Castillo. However, the actions taken by John and Charica Daugherty were not in violation of any Oklahoma Statutes.”
For Blaine, herself a survivor of sexual abuse, that's just not good enough.
“I just don't understand why the church officials don't just step up take the consequences and commit themselves ever stronger to protecting children.”
There is another layer to this motion, it says that Denman and Castillo were not responsible for the health and well being of the three victims in this case and therefore cannot under state law be charged with child abuse.
Chris Denman will be in court next Monday to enter a plea on the sexual assault charges related to the 13-year-old. He has already pleaded not guilty to lewd molestation charges and making a lewd proposal and using a computer to commit a sex crime.
FOX23 tried to interview Victory Christian's lead pastor, Sharon Daugherty, but were told she will not be commenting.