Only on 3: Teacher, Preacher Indicted for Child Exploitation
(New Albany, MS) It was the third day of school at Victory Christian Academy in New Albany when a father, who we’re not identifying in order to protect his daughter, says she got a Facebook message from her teacher 25-year-old Benjamin Bishop.
“He asked her to get on an app called Voxer and it is a highly encrypted cell phone app,” he said. “It’s very hard to trace. As a matter of fact police could not even pull those messages off of her phone they had to have the phone itself.”
He says more than a dozen messages were exchanged between his daughter and Bishop. He found them on his daughter’s phone after she confided in a family member.
The messages are so sexually explicit, he says, he doesn’t feel comfortable sharing them.
According to the indictment Bishop’s messages show he tried to meet up with the teen “for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”
“I think I felt betrayed knowing the nature of the closeness and how small the school is I just felt betrayed,” he said.”
The father says he grew up in the church and has know Bishop for years.
Bishop is the son of the church’s pastor. He not only taught classes at the church, but we are told he also preached there.
The teen’s father says since these allegations surfaces that has all stopped.
While his daughter is now being home-schooled, he says emotional scars remain.
“My daughter suffered nightmares, and a lot of emotional distress for 2-3 weeks after this,” he said. “I can tell that there’s still some baggage there that she can’t get over yet.”
Bishop is out of jail on bond charged with child exploitation. He faces 5 to 40 years if convicted.
This father hopes justice will be served. He said, “It’s time for us to stand up and say this has got to stop. It must end.”
We tried to ask the school for comment, but when we called and identified ourselves, they hung up on us.
We are also told Bishop worked as a part-time jailer with the Union County Sheriff’s office. Our calls to the Union County District Attorney and to the Union County Sheriff;s Office were not returned.