A New Albany man has been indicted during the recent Union County grand jury session for the exploitation of a child.
Benjamin Bishop, 25, of 623 Glendale Road in New Albany, was arrested Aug. 16, 2012. He is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
According to Union County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Johnny Bell, Bishop was a part-time jailer at the department. While his arrest took place in Union County, he was transported to the Chickasaw County Jail. He was booked into the jail at 7:13 p.m.
Bishop was a jailer at UCSD from May 1, 2012 until the day of his arrest.
According to the indictment handed down by the grand jury, “…within the jurisdiction of the Court did unlawfully, willfully and feloniously by computer, knowingly entice, induce, persuade, seduce, solicit, advise, and coerce a 15-year-old child under the age of 18 to meet with said Benjamin Bishop for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct as defined Section 97-5-31 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, annotated, as amended, in violation of the provisions of Section 97-5-33.”
Under Mississippi Code of 1972, Section 97-5-31, the statute states the definitions of exploitation of children.
The word “child’ means any individual who is not yet 18 years old; “sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated; sexual intercourse…; bestiality; masturbation; sadistic or masochistic abuse; lascivious exhibition of the genitals…;fondling…; “producing” means producing, directing, manufacturing, issuing, publishing, or advertising; “visual depiction” includes without limitation developed of undeveloped film and video tape or other visual unaltered reproductions by computer; “computer” has the meaning given in Title 18, United States Code, Section 1030; “simulated” means depicting of the genitals or rectal areas that gives the appearance of sexual conduct or incipient sexual conduct.
Under Mississippi Code of 1972, Section 97-5-33, the statute states the prohibitions of exploitation of children.
If convicted, Bishop’s offense is punishable by imprisonment for not less than five years nor exceeding 40 years, or by a fine of not less than $50,000 or more than $500,000 or both, contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the state of Mississippi.
Bishop bonded out of jail with a $25,000 bond and is now awaiting trial.
Bishop appears on the Victory Apostolic Church website under church pastors.
Ben Creekmore, district attorney, said, “Our office still considers the case to be an ongoing investigation.”