Utah Mormon official removed from local position after voyeurism arrest

Religion News Service | 8/21/2019 | Staff
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(RNS) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has removed a Utah church official after he was charged with taking photos of a woman undressing in a Tennessee clothing store.

“This type of behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated from any Church member,” Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told Religion News Service in an email. “When local leaders learned of the arrest and charges, he was immediately removed from all responsibilities.”

Aug - Affidavit - Steven - Murdock - Resident

On Aug. 13, according to an affidavit, Steven Murdock, 55, a resident of Holladay, Utah, presented himself as a store employee and guided a woman into a dressing room at an H&M at Nashville’s Opry Mills Mall.

The 23-year-old woman said she noticed a phone recording her from above the corner of her stall and exited to confront Murdock, who the woman said emerged from the next stall over and began deleting photos of her from the phone. She also told police that his wife, Amy Murdock, “approached her and asked her to settle this peacefully without getting police involved,” the affidavit noted.

Murdock - Nashville - Charge - Photography - Bond

Murdock, who had been vacationing in Nashville, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful photography. He was released on a $1,000 bond after a night in jail and is expected to appear in court Sept. 6 in Nashville.

Despite his title of “high councilman,” Murdock was far from a prominent figure in the church, as some media reports have suggested.

References - Church - Leader - Case - Matthew

“The references to him as a ‘high-ranking’ church leader are confusing, because that’s not the case,” explained Matthew Bowman, chairman of the Mormon studies program at Claremont Graduate University. “His position was only that of a midlevel local leader.”

Murdock had spent several years serving as a bishop at his congregation in Holladay, a Salt Lake City suburb. This position, as...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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