Jackson, Tennessee man accused of videotaping under skirts at church

By Jamel Major - bio | email

JACKSON, TN (WMC-TV) - A Jackson man has been charged with videotaping under the skirts of women and girls at his church.  Richard Rushton is charged with videotaping under the skirts of 40 to 50 women and girls at Lighthouse Pentecostal Church.

"They're feeling betrayed, hurt, embarrassed," said Donald Lance, pastor of the church.

Thursday, Rushton waived his right to a preliminary hearing.  Rushton, who is a convicted sex offender, asked that his $50,000 bond be reduced. But prosecutors argued against it because the number of alleged victims is so high. Ultimately, the judge denied Rushton's request, and his case will likely be heard by a grand jury in August.  

Lance said church members became suspicious of Rushton and his video camera several weeks ago.

"I had addressed him and told him before that if there was ever any activity, anything inappropriate, we would turn him in," he said.
Police investigators said a number of recordings were found at Rushton's home.

"It wasn't done in private, but in the open, to where he could maneuver the camera where it looked like he was carrying it upside down on a tripod," Lance said.

Lance hopes the ordeal serves as a warning for other churches.

"We need to forgive," he said. "We need to have mercy and give people a chance. When the line is crossed, that's when it stops."

Rushton registered in Jackson as a sex offender in 2003. He spent nearly six years in a Florida prison for three sexual offenses in 1995 and 1996.

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