A former Tulsa church employee accused of making a lewd proposal to a minor has asked a judge to drop the charge against him, because he claims prosecutors didn’t present enough evidence at the preliminary hearing to prove he knew the child was under 16 years of age. Castillo has pleaded not guilty to the …
A former Tulsa church employee accused of making a lewd proposal to a minor has asked a judge to drop the charge against him, because he claims prosecutors didn’t present enough evidence at the preliminary hearing to prove he knew the child was under 16 years of age. Castillo has pleaded not guilty to the sex crime and has been free on bail since September 2012. If Castillo is convicted on the charge of making a lewd proposal to a child, he faces up to 20 years in prison. Sex crimes are considered serious offenses in Oklahoma, and the penalties associated with a sex crime conviction in the state are severe. If you are facing charges for making a lewd proposal to a minor, or for another sex crime anywhere in Oklahoma, contact our reputable criminal defense lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center as soon as possible.
Sex Crime Charges Based on Explicit Facebook Messages
Israel Castillo, 23, was a janitor at the Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when authorities say he sent explicit messages via Facebook to a 14-year-old girl he had known for at least two years. A second charge was initially filed against Castillo for using a computer to commit a sex crime, but was ultimately dismissed because both charges involved the same evidence. The defendant’s attorney argued in a recent court motion that the case should be dismissed because prosecutors failed to provide evidence at a November hearing indicating that Castillo knew the girl was under age.
At the preliminary hearing, a detective with the Tulsa Police testified that the 23-year-old told him that, while there were sexual conversations between Castillo and the complaining witness on Facebook, the defendant and the 14-year-old girl never had sexual contact. The detective also said he believed that Castillo may have referred to the girl as a minor, but Castillo’s attorney challenged that claim. “There is absolutely no testimony to establish the defendant was aware of the complaining witness’ age,” the defense attorney argued on behalf of Castillo.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help
Another former employee of the 17,000-member megachurch was sentenced last month to 55 years in prison after he plead guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl in a stairwell at the Tulsa church. Five other church employees, including the son and daughter-in-law of the church’s senior pastor, have been accused of failing to report the rape in a timely manner, and have each pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense. If you have been charged with a sex crime like rape or making a lewd proposal to a minor in Oklahoma, your first course of action should be to enlist the help of our criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center. Our law firm is based in Oklahoma City and our lawyers have extensive experience protecting the legal rights of those charged with sex crimes throughout the state of Oklahoma.