OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (ABP) – Charges are mounting against a traveling Southern Baptist evangelist accused of using a spy camera to secretly record video of a woman in her home, where he was staying as a houseguest while preaching at a local revival.
Sam Allen Nuckolls, 33, pleaded not guilty Nov. 1 in Olive Branch, Miss., to a charge of videotaping a woman when privacy was expected. Police there said the case is still being reviewed.
Olive Branch police began their investigation into the popular speaker with youth and teens who has worked as a camp pastor for the Southern Baptist Convention’s FUGE summer camps sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources after a woman in Gosnell, Ark., told police Oct. 25 she discovered a pen that doubles as a video camera sticking out of Nuckolls’ shaving kit while she was getting ready to take a shower. Gosnell police said Nuckolls admitted he set up the camera with the intent of secretly recording the woman and had done the same thing to two other women before.
Gosnell police seized Nuckolls’ spy camera and computer and told media they discovered video of other women, including one in Waldron, Ark., where he was visiting a church similar to the incident in Gosnell. Police in Waldron are investigating, but so far no charges have been filed.
Memphis FOX affiliate WHBQ-TV said police in Olive Branch are reviewing video that dates back years and they have notified some women, but the investigation is far from over. The report said the video recordings of women in Olive Branch discovered so far were taken in Nuckolls’ home, and all knew him well enough to trust him.
The station said so far, all of the alleged victims are over 18.
After Nuckolls bonded out of the Mississippi County Jail in Arkansas for $50,000, police in Olive Branch arrested him at his home Oct. 29. He was later released on $10,000 bond.
Under Arkansas law, video voyeurism is a Class D felony carrying fines up to $10,000 and up to six years in prison. Mississippi law makes photographing, taping or filming a person in violation of expectation of privacy a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine, up to five years in prison or both.
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.