U.S.

Prison Pastor And Sheriff’s Deputy Accused Of Having Sex With Inmates

A preacher in Virginia is accused of having sexual contact with inmates at a prison where he served as pastor.

Matthew Mellerson, 29, has been arrested on felony charges over claims he used his position to lure inmates into sexual activity at Richmond Jail.

Mellerson, who also served as a sheriff’s deputy, has been suspended from his position pending the charges.  

Authorities say there are eight separate charges and at least three male victims, WVTR reported.

Court records seen by NBC12 allege the sexual activity started in September 2017, with more allegations emerging in January and February 2018. 

Screenshot (36) Matthew Mellerson, 29, is accused of sexual contact with inmates at Richmond Jail, where he was the prison pastor. Richmond Police

His LinkedIn profile states that he holds a Masters of Divinity from Virginia Union and a Bachelor's degree in philosophy and religious studies from a college in Florida. 

Footage available on YouTube shows Mellerson preaching at the First African Baptist Church in Richmond in 2014. “Even in your darkness, God still has his flashlight on you,” he says at one point. 

Nikki Shaw, who was visiting Richmond Jail, told NBC: “How long was this going on? How nobody noticed? How did he get to do this and nobody realized it was going on?”

Mellerson will appear in court next month.