TULSA - The son and daughter-in-law of the founders of Victory Christian Center apparently changed their minds and decided to plead no contest to one count each of failure to report child abuse in a case that has grabbed national headlines.
KRMG has confirmed with the court clerk in Tulsa County that John and Charica Daugherty pleaded no contest Friday morning.
Each was handed a five-year deferred sentence.
As conditions of that sentence, the judge ordered them to pay $500 fines plus court costs, and to reach out to at least 20 other institutions and discuss their experiences to warn them about the necessity of reporting crimes against children, and to discuss how to prevent the abuse from happening in the first place.
In five years they will go back to court, and at that time the judge will determine if they have met his conditions.
If so, he will dismiss the charges against them and the case will be dropped.
Their attorney, Jason Robertson, tells KRMG this was not a plea deal.
"There was definitely no deal with the D.A., we've never had any discussions with the D.A. from the beginning about any kind of plea deal," Robertson told KRMG.
"John and Charica were ready for the process healing to begin. As we evaluated the case, we knew that if the judge could just get the information in front of him, he would make the right decision," he added.
They had previously pleaded not guilty, and had requested a jury trial which was to begin next month.
Paul Willemstein, Anna George, and Harold "Frank" Sullivan waived their right to a jury trial, but the Daughertys' attorney, Jason Robertson, told KRMG they had decided to face a jury.
All five faced a misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse.
Robertson, has told KRMG that he believes they are "targets of a political smear rather than a criminal prosecution."
He had filed two motions to dismiss the charges, but a judge ruled against his clients.
The other three employees had a hearing March 18, and a judge considered their cases.
He sentenced Willemstein and George to 30 days in jail plus one year suspended, while Sullivan received a year, suspended.
Chris Denman, a former Victory janitor, pleaded guilty last year to first-degree rape and other charges in the assault of the girl on church property.
He's currently serving a 55-year sentence.
After his arrest, the church admitted in a letter sent to KRMG that some of its employees had knowledge of the rape, but had failed to tell the girl's parents or police for more than two weeks.
Subsequently, another former employee, Israel Castillo, was arrested and charged with making a lewd proposal to a minor and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime.
The second count was later dismissed; his jury trial on the lewd proposal count is set for August.
John Daugherty is the senior high youth pastor at Victory, his wife Charica is the assistant senior high youth pastor.
Anna George is the high school outreach program director, Willemstein an associate youth pastor, and Sullivan the church's human resources director.