COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar staunchly denied Sunday that he punched and choked his 15-year-old daughter in an argument, telling his congregation the allegations made in a police report are nothing but “exaggeration and sensationalism.”

“I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested,” Dollar said at the World Changers Church International, in his first public appearance since being charged with misdemeanor counts of simple battery and cruelty to children.

The pastor addressed the criminal charges head-on for several minutes before moving on to his sermon.

Dollar, 50, is pastor of a church that has 30,000 members in the Atlanta area and a ministry of satellite churches across the United States.

He was arrested after his 15-year-old daughter called 911 around 1 a.m. Friday and told a  sheriff’s deputy that she and her father argued when he said she couldn’t go to a party.

A police report says the girl told a deputy her father put his hands around her throat, began to punch her and hit her with his shoe.