Richmond prosecutor: Deputy had sexual contact with 3 inmates

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A former Richmond Sheriff's Deputy is accused of having sexual contact with inmates.

Matthew Mellerson is also a preacher in Richmond. He was a chaplain at the Richmond Jail before his arrest on felony charges this week.

"Even in your darkness, God still has his flashlight on you," Mellerson said during a sermon in 2014.

The former chaplain at the Richmond Jail served as a sheriff's deputy. He's now out of a job. Court documents show Mellerson was indicted, accused of sexual contact with inmates.

Authorities say there were at least three male victims and eight separate charges.

"I'm just confused," said Nikki Shaw, who was visiting the Richmond Jail on Friday.

She has a loved one in custody and now has many questions about the allegations against Mellerson.

"How long was this going on? How nobody noticed? How did he get to do this and nobody realized it was going on?" Shaw asked.

According to court records, the activity started back in September of last year and happened again two months later.

It didn't stop there. More allegations surfaced this year in January and in February.

According to Mellerson's LinkedIn profile, he received a Masters of Divinity from Virginia Union and a Bachelor's degree from a college in Florida in philosophy and religious studies. Now many are stunned the alleged activities happened behind bars.

"You should be safe. You shouldn't have none of this going on because you're separated from the outside world," Shaw said.

Authorities say the former deputy used his position of power to lure those inmates into sexual activity. Mellerson is due in court next month.

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