Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar managed to avoid a court appearance on charges that he assaulted his 15-year-old daughter in the family’s Sandy Creek Road home June 7.
Instead, state court prosecutors allowed Dollar to enter a pre-trial intervention program which required him to complete an anger management program and pay $1,072 in fees and court costs.
By using the pre-trial intervention program, Dollar avoided court and was not required to even enter a plea in the case. He was initially charged with simple battery (family violence), but that charge has been dismissed since Dollar successfully met the requirements of the pre-trial intervention program.
During the three-month length of the program, Dollar was required to report to a probation officer and avoid violent contact with anyone. He also was ordered to not violate any laws during that time frame, and he incurred no new charges during the three months, according to a report by the probation officer.
Dollar, the pastor at World Changers Church International, was initially arrested on charges of simple battery and cruelty to children. Dollar’s daughter told a sheriff’s deputy that her father had put his hands around her throat and choked her, then “slammed her to the ground and began punching her and took his shoe off and started whooping her with it,” according to a report from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputy noted that he observed a scratch on the right side of the girl’s neck close to her throat. The dispute between the daughter and Dollar was over a party the girl wanted to attend.
Dollar told deputies that his daughter became very disrespectful and he approached her and tried to restrain her while she hit back and he wrestled her to the floor. Dollar further said that while on the floor he spanked her on her bottom and the back of her legs, and after the victim calmed down she was advised to go to her room.
A witness to the incident claimed that Dollar slapped the victim and put both his hands around her neck, choking her for about five seconds. The witness said the victim tried to break free but did not fight back, and after Dollar threw her to the ground the witness went to get the 15-year-old’s mother.
State Court Solicitor Jamie K. Inagawa said he reviewed the evidence and interviewed the victim before determining the case met the criteria for pre-trial intervention.
“As a prosecutor it is my job to strike the appropriate balance of punishment and rehabilitation in every case I handle,” Inagawa said. “I feel that my office has accomplished just such a balance in this case. The defendant has been punished for his actions, concerns for his possible re-offending have been addressed and the family unit has been preserved.”
Inagawa noted that Dollar proved he complied with all the conditions of the program.
Dollar’s World Changers Church International is headquartered in College Park but has 16 satellite churches in seven states. He also heads up Creflo Dollar Ministries which has offices in Australia, South Africa, Nigeria and the United Kingdom, according to creflodollarministries.org.