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Lawsuit over girl’s rape at Oklahoma church camp settled

Benjamin Petty, Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY – The operators of a Baptist church camp in south-central Oklahoma have agreed to improve the safety of campers to settle a lawsuit over the rape of a 13-year-old Texas girl at the camp.

The 2016 attack occurred at the Falls Creek church camp, which is visited by about 50,000 people each summer. A cook at the camp, 37-year-old Benjamin Petty, pleaded guilty in January to first-degree rape and other charges and was sentenced to 15 years’ probation in a plea deal that spared him prison time.

The Oklahoman reports terms of the settlement were filed under seal and are confidential, including any payment to the victim. The safety changes weren’t specified, but the lawsuit revealed instances where churches ignored directives to do criminal background checks on adults at the camp.