A judge ruled Tuesday that former ORU President Richard Roberts must pay $1,532 in court fines, perform 56 hours of community service, attend DUI classes, and submit to drug and alcohol tests after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and speeding in January.
Roberts will not spend any time in jail under a plea agreement reached with Tulsa District Special Judge Sarah Smith, who placed Roberts on 18 months of probation. She withheld a finding of guilt and deferred sentencing until October 2013. If Roberts completes his probation without violating the terms and avoids further incidents, he will not have a conviction on his record.
Roberts had been scheduled to appear in Tulsa District Court on May 4, but the judge heard the case several days early upon the request of his attorney. The earlier date effectively minimized media publicity about the case, which would have been heard one day before ORU’s May 5 graduation.
By pleading guilty, Roberts also waived his right to a jury or non-jury trial, further avoiding more publicity.
Roberts, 63, appeared in court Tuesday. While he still maintains a house in Tulsa, Roberts and his wife, Lindsay, now reside most of the time in Newport Beach, Calif. Richard and Lindsay continue to host a nationally-syndicated TV program, “The Place for Miracles.” It airs weekdays online and on various cable television stations, including KGEB. He also serves as chairman and CEO of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, based in Tulsa.
Richard Roberts was arrested Jan. 24 after an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer clocked him driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone while traveling east in his black Mercedes on the Creek Turnpike. An arrest report said the trooper pulled over Roberts on U.S. Highway 169 near 71st Street and immediately detected alcohol on his breath. Roberts then failed two sobriety tests.
Roberts submitted to a breathalyzer test, and his blood alcohol level was measured at 0.11, which is above the 0.08 legal limit in Oklahoma. He was arrested and booked into the Tulsa County Jail, then released three hours later after posting a $1,100 bond.
Roberts served as president of ORU for 15 years, resigning in November 2007. He continues to conduct healing crusades all over the world. He is the youngest of the four children of the late Oral and Evelyn Roberts.