A judge has refused to dismiss a civil lawsuit that accuses a Tulsa, Oklahoma megachurch of covering up the rape of a 13-year-old girl by a church employee.
The Associated Press reports that Victory Christian Center had argued that the mother of the 13-year-old, who was raped by janitor Chris Denman, was not entitled to any relief under the law despite the fact that she filed the lawsuit seeking more than $75,000 in damages.
On Monday, a judge dismissed the church's request for dismissal of the suit.
The lawsuit claims that Victory Christian Center attempted to cover up the teen's August 2012 rape, a crime for which Denman was sentenced to 55 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping the girl in a church stairwell. Denman also molested a 15-year-old girl and propositioned a 12-year-old.
Victory Christian Center, which has more than 17,000 members, also attempted to get charges dismissed against John and Charica Daugherty, youth ministers who allegedly failed to report the 13-year-old's rape to authorities.