Former Norfolk pastor accused of spying on young woman via hidden surveillance camera

Posted at 4:56 PM, May 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-07 06:07:01-04

Norfolk, Va. - A pastor is accused of breaking into the home of a family from his church, according to court documents. They state that he’s accused of setting up a surveillance camera system in a young woman’s bedroom and pointing the camera at her bed.

Michael Blankenship is the Senior Pastor at Norfolk Apostolic Church.  He said he is very upset with Michael Jones, a former associate pastor for the church.

“When we became aware of Michael's conduct we took immediate action,” said Blankenship. He said they fired 44-year-old Jones, who used to work as the associate pastor at Norfolk Apostolic Church until a month ago.

Court documents state that Jones went into the home of another family from the church and set up a surveillance video inside the bedroom of a young woman.

It states that the camera was attached to the underneath side of a desk and pointed it towards her bed.

But her parents have surveillance video in the house, according to the court documents.  It states that their camera captured Jones in the act.

Police were called and began their investigation on April 8th and church said they fired Jones on April 9th.

“Obviously, our church family is incredibly grieved over this circumstance.  I do want to point out it's not the ministry that is at fault, it's the man that failed,” Blankenship said.

Blankenship said Jones has been with the church for ten years, but held the role of associate pastor for about one year.  He was the musical director and the worship leader, according to the senior pastor.

“It someone that we believed and trusted.  He betrayed that trust, with that said, the church is healing, making progress to realign get ourselves,” Blankenship said.

Jones got a computer from the church when he took on the leadership role last year but now that computer is in police evidence, according to the search warrant.

Police arrested Jones on April 17th and charged him with burglary.

Police said they would not comment on the specifics of the ongoing investigation.