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Ex-Mormon Church Leader Pleads Guilty After Taking Photos Of Woman Changing In H&M Dressing Room

Ex-Mormon Church Leader Pleads Guilty After Taking Photos Of Woman Changing In H&M Dressing Room
Metro Nashville Police Department, WSMV/YouTube

A former high-ranking Mormon Church leader was charged in Nashville, Tennessee for unlawful photography after being caught secretly snapping photos of a young woman inside an H&M dressing room on August 13.

The victim, Alondra Alcala, was prompted to enter the vacant stall by a man whom she thought worked at the Opry Mills Mall store so she could try on clothes.

Steven Murdock, 55, was not an H&M employee.

While in a state of undress, she noticed an iPhone angled over the top of the partition and pointing at her.

She immediately got dressed and confronted the Peeping Tom in the next dressing room.

It turned out to be Murdock—the same man who directed her into the dressing room—violating Alcala's privacy.

Alcala told WSMV:

"He opened the curtain and I confronted him. I kind of cornered him into the dressing room so he had no way out. I kind of slapped the phone out of his hands and I was able to have it."

She also managed to watch him delete the photos of her he had taken before running off with his phone.

Alcala said she felt disgusted with herself after the incident and kept asking questions.

"I felt like what did I do wrong, what if I wouldn't have done this, or wouldn't have worn this. I did feel violated, I felt gross, why is this happening to me?"

Things took a bizarre turn when Murdock's wife came to his defense and tried to persuade Alcala not to contact authorities.

"They both offered us multiple times if we could please, you know, make a deal with them without involving law enforcement."

She refused to negotiate and called the police anyway. Once they showed up, Murdoch was taken into custody.

He posted bail the next morning at $1,000 and was released from the Metro jail.

News outlets later discovered that Murdock was a prominent leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who made several appearances at congregations throughout Salt Lake City, Utah.

Murdock, who was visiting Nashville from the Utah suburb of Holiday, was sentenced to one-year of supervised probation and was asked to forfeit his cellphone and undergo counseling.

He was additionally barred from returning to the Opry Mills Mall and contacting Alcala.

After Murdock's arrest in August, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said the onetime bishop and high councilor was removed from his role.

Hawkins told WKRN in a statement:

"This type of behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated from any Church member. When local leaders learned of the arrest and charges, he was immediately removed from all responsibilities."

A fellow parishioner, who wished to remain anonymous, pointed out the hypocrisy of Mudock's position as a high-ranking LDS official.

"It's just disappointing to see that um, especially someone in that position isn't meeting that same position themselves."

When asked how H&M would handle the safety of future customers, the retail clothier issued a statement following the August incident:

"The safety and well-being of our customers is our first priority. We are cooperating with the local authorities as this remains an ongoing investigation."

Alcala told WZTV that everyone, whether they are male, female or a child, should stay alert and to not be afraid of confrontation.

"It can happen to anyone. Anyone can be a victim of this, men, women, children, anybody. I would just say be alert, be aware of your surroundings, and don't be afraid to speak up, because this sort of stuff is real."