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Former Latter-day Saint leader pleads guilty to taking pictures of woman in dressing room

Crime Watch

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Steven Murdock | File photo, Aug. 21, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A former leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pleaded guilty Monday to taking pictures of a woman in a dressing room at a Tennessee mall.

WKRN reports Steven Murdock will complete 48 hours of community service and be put under supervised probation. He is not allowed to have a cell phone or have any contact with the victim or Opry Mills Mall, where the incident took place. He is also required to undergo counseling.

“If Murdock complies, the unlawful photography charge – a misdemeanor – will not go on his record,” WKRN reports.

RELATED | Utah church leader charged in Tennessee dressing room camera incident

Murdock was arrested in August after Alondra Alcala reported to police the 55-year-old man guided her to a dressing room at H&M. She told WSMV she thought he worked there but turned out it was Murdock.

Alcala entered the dressing room and noticed a cell phone angled above her. She said she went to the dressing room next door to find out who was taking pictures of her.

“He opened the curtain and I confronted him. I kind of cornered him into the dressing room so he had no way out. I kind of slapped the phone out of his hands and I was able to have it,” Alcala told WSMV.

According to an affidavit, the woman said she saw images of herself on the phone and witnessed Murdock deleting photos. She told officers that Murdock’s wife tried to convince her not to involve the police.

“They both offered us multiple times if we could please you know, make a deal with them without involving law enforcement,” she reportedly said.

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins told the Associated Press that Murdock has been removed from all church responsibilities. He served as a high councilor, which is a volunteer position helping with the administration of several congregations. He also previously served as a bishop of a congregation in Utah.