Ex-Virginia Beach Methodist church employee charged with filming children in bathroom

Dillon Jacobs, a 20-year-old former employee of the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church was charged with four counts of unlawfully filming minors after his cellphone was found under a church urinal. (Adrienne Mayfield/Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A former employee of the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church was charged with illegally filming children after his cellphone was found recording activity in a church bathroom.

Dillon Jacobs, 20, was charged with four counts of unlawfully filming children on Aug. 17, according to the Virginia Beach Police Department.

The charges are class-six felonies, meaning that Jacobs could face between four and 20 years in prison, according to Virginia legal code.

Dillon Jacobs, charged with four counts of unlawfully filming children. (Virginia Beach police)
Dillon Jacobs, charged with four counts of unlawfully filming children. (Virginia Beach police)

His arrest came more than four months after a boy told the church’s assistant administrator, Randy Gillian, that he’d found a black and white Samsung Galaxy cellphone under the men’s urinal, according to documents filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.

The boy reported it on April 6, adding that the phone was on, recording and facing upward toward the urinal when he found it. A VBPD detective reported that when he found the phone, it was positioned so that only the camera was showing, and it was angled upward toward the urinal.

The minor told a Virginia Beach detective that he found the phone at a time when meetings were happening at the church and people were in the building, court documents state.

Senior Pastor Mark Miller said that while the church restroom is one that is used by all ages, the phone was found at a time when there were many children in the building.

Two days later after it was reported, Dillon came to reclaim his phone from the VBPD. He told police he’d left it and a jacket in the bathroom on accident while he was working, according to court documents.

Miller confirmed that Jacobs was formerly a part-time desk worker at the church. He added that Jacobs was fired immediately after the incident was reported.

“We have very strict policies about conduct and behavior,” Miller said.

Send tips to adrienne.m@southsidedaily.com.

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.