Richmond, VA – A former Richmond City Sheriff’s Office Deputy who is also a pastor, and was the chaplain at the Richmond Justice Center, was arrested and charged with sex crimes.
Matthew Mellerson, 29, was indicted June 7 by a grand jury on six counts of carnal knowledge of an inmate and two counts of sexual abusing an inmate, according to WTVR-TV. The inmates were all men.
The incidents happened between Sept. 17 and Sept. 23 in 2017, according to court documents.
More allegations against Mellerson surfaced in January and February of 2018, according to WWBT-TV.
Authorities told WWBT that Mellerson used his position of power to lure three inmates into having sexual acts with him.
WWBT reports that Mellerson was fired after the incidents.
Newsweek reported that Mellerson’s LinkedIn profile stated he has a Masters of Divinity from Virginia Union and a Bachelor's degree in philosophy and religious studies from a college in Florida.
There is a video on YouTube that shows Mellerson preaching at the First African Baptist Church in Richmond in 2014, according to Newsweek. In that video, Deputy Mellerson stated, “Even in your darkness, God still has his flashlight on you.”
Nikki Shaw was visiting Richmond Jail on June 8 and told WWBT that she was confused with how Mellerson was able to get away with his crimes.
“How long was this going on? How nobody noticed? How did he get to do this and nobody realized it was going on?” Shaw told WWBT. "You should be safe. You shouldn't have none of this going on because you’re separated from the outside world.”
Mellerson is due in court in July.