WEST MEMPHIS, AR -- A community is shocked to learn that one of their religious leaders is facing criminal charges, but it's not just any charges he's facing. The West Memphis man is accused of secretly videotaping an underage girl and not only is the suspect a pastor, but he also is a newly-elected member of the Crittenden County Quorum Court.
It all started on Friday, July 7th when Charlotte Moten made a complaint that she had found a video camera in her 14-year-old daughter's bedroom. The accused suspect, 61 year old Jack Moten, also lives in the home on South 12th Street in West Memphis.
After using a search warrant at his home Tuesday, police arrested Moten and charged him with a Class D Felony of voyeurism and video voyeurism against a girl. While reading the charges to the judge at Moten's court arraignment, the court official said Moten did not deny the charges to police.
"Upon interview, the defendant admitted to placing it there," read the court official to the judge.
After the arrest, police also issued a protection order for the girl's safety.
"He was entering the protection order into the computer, when he discovered that this Jack Moten was also wanted in Shelby County, Tennessee for fraud and identity theft charges," says Mike Allen, the West Memphis Assistant Police Chief.
The Tennessee charges stem from 2005, in which Moten allegedly used a false identity of an elderly nursing home patient to buy a Cadillac Escalade from Bud Davis Cadillac in Memphis. Once the hearing ended and bond was set, Moten's family and neighbors left in an uproar, some outraged by the charges and others feeling differently
"Whatever that happens I think it's what he deserves," claimed a neighbor of Moten.
"He's a minister. He's a nice neighbor. The charges are ridiculous. I really believed he's been framed," says Sylvia Breton, a longtime neighbor of Moten.
And some had even stronger things to say.
"He's nothing but a pedophile and a pervert," says one women of Moten.
We later caught up with some West Memphis residents who have known Moten for years and Mattie Davis says she knew him as a good person in the community and was shocked to hear the news.
"If it happened, it certainly would have to be proven to me before I believe it. He never appeared to be that type of person. He was a family person," says Mattie Davis, a longtime West Memphis resident.
Moten's bond was set at $35,000 and he is set to appear again before judge on August 29th.