Friday, December 13, 2013
Michigan pastor and theological professor arrested for spying on a nude woman
GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, MI -- A Cornerstone University theological professor and now-resigned pastor is accused of being a "peeping tom," allegedly using a ladder to peer into a woman's bedroom as she had sex.
Jeremy Gordon Grinnell, 40, of the Rockford area, has been charged with two counts of surveilling an unclothed person, a two-year felony.
Grinnell, an assistant professor of systematic theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, on Tuesday, Nov. 26, was placed on administrative leave with the university, a university spokesman confirmed.
"We are stunned and saddened by this news," said Bob Sack of Cornerstone.
Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is a division of Cornerstone.
Grinnell on Monday was in Kent County District Court, where he waived a probable cause hearing.
He is free on a $1,000 bond.
Grinnell had been a teaching pastor at Bella Vista Church in the Rockford area, but resigned that position Nov. 17. The resignation was announced in a letter read to parishioners.
Kent County Sheriff's investigators allege that Grinnell, in early November, went to the 37-year-old woman's Cannon Township home.
Prosecutors say he used a ladder, apparently found on the property, to look into the second-floor bedroom window of the woman.
Police say he knew where the woman's bedroom was located and noticed lights on in the room.
"Jeremy obtained a ladder, climbing to the second-floor window, where he observed through the window (two people) in the nude having sex," sheriff's investigators wrote in a affidavit to get a warrant against Grinnell.
"Jeremy admitted that he maintained this position for at least twenty seconds, watching them," detectives wrote.
Grinnell was spotted by the woman's partner, prosecutors say, but managed to quickly descend the ladder and escape.
However, police say he returned to the residence the next night and was confronted outside by the woman's partner.
Police responded to the scene.
He allegedly told police that he was there to pray for the woman, Kent County prosecutors said.
Grinnell declined comment today and his attorney, David Dodge Sr., also declined comment.
Mark Pietscher, lead pastor at Bella Vista Church, said Grinnell had been a teaching pastor at the church since May 2012.
He was a part-time employee of the church and taught three times a month on Sundays.
Pietscher declined to say anything more about the situation.
According to Grinnell's resume, he earned his doctorate in systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in 2011.
He was an adjunct professor at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary from 1999 to 2010, then became a visiting professor before earning status as an assistant professor.
Sack said his employment at the university can be renewed annually.
In court Monday, prosecutors outlined a possible plea offer that would limit any jail time for Grinnell.
The scenarios offered: plead to one count in exchange for sentencing guidelines calling for zero to one month in jail; or plead to both counts with the defense attorney seeking a recommendation for no jail.