WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – A former missions leader for a Triangle-area church faces criminal charges after multiple women claimed he recorded them as they used bathrooms at his home and abroad.
Court documents reveal an investigation into peeping accusations against 31-year-old Mitchel McCaskell. He faces felony secret peeping charges. Police obtained a search warrant for his home on South Wingate Street in Wake Forest in order to look for a hard drive and other possible electronics used to record his victims.
According to the warrant, McCaskell recorded three women at various times and two different locations. Two of the victims were recorded while using the guest bathroom at McCaskell’s house. A third victim told police she believes McCaskell recorded her as she showered while on an international mission trip. She found his cell phone in the shower with its camera pointed at her.
The Summit Church terminated McCaskell’s employment in September after learning about the recordings. Other pastors told police that McCaskell confessed to the misconduct.
Wake Forest Police began to investigate in October after one of the victims came forward and said McCaskell recorded her while she was in his guest bathroom. According to the warrant, while using the toilet the victim noticed a bag sitting on the sink counter with a hole in it and saw what “appeared to be a reflective surface (like a camera lens) behind the hole.” She told police McCaskell said earlier in the evening that he needed to clean the restroom.
The victim finished using the restroom and looked inside the bag where she found a cellphone in video mode. The camera’s lens pointed through the hole in the bag and directly at the toilet. The warrant states that the victim stopped the recording function and watched the recently-recorded video.
She told police it showed McCaskell hide the camera, clean the bathtub, and then adjust the angle of the camera so it recorded the toilet and shower area. The victim described seeing the video show McCaskell leave the bathroom, and after a while, the lights come on as she enters the restroom. She saw herself on video pull her pants down and use the toilet.
The victim told investigators she deleted the video and took pictures of how the camera was hidden. Police recovered a text message from McCaskell where he invited the victim over for dinner and stating that he cleaned the bathroom for her. The warrant also shows a text message sent after the victim located the phone which said “I set it down in there when I got [name redacted’s] stuff out of your shower and forgot to pick it up.”
Staff at The Summit Church conducted an internal investigation after the victim, who also worked at the church, reported McCaskell’s actions. While initially treated as an employment matter, a church spokesperson said staff promptly notified police as well as the Summit campus where McCaskell spent most of his time. Other pastors told police McCaskell confessed to recording the victim in the July incident as well as two other victims. One of those incidents also happened at his home.
The third victim told police she found McCaskell’s phone in a shower while they were on an international missions trip. She said the phone was locked, but positioned in such a way that it could record her.
The Summit Church declined to disclose which of its eight Triangle-area campuses McCaskell primarily served. Past mentions of McCaskell are no longer found on the church’s website, and his Facebook and Twitter pages are no longer active. However, message boards on the church’s community site identify him as the International Missions Pastor, and McCaskell and his wife made numerous posts about missionary-related events. Other webpages document his time as a missionary in Mali, West Africa
Police interviewed McCaskell’s wife in October and she them he “is remorseful for what he did.” McCaskell’s wife told detectives she did not know why he did what he did, and that he is staying in Cary rather than at their home.
The Summit Church issued a statement to CBS North Carolina regarding Mitchel McCaskell:
“Mitch McCaskell, an employee of The Summit Church, has been terminated as of Monday, Sept. 18 due to grievous, immoral actions, which involved filming three women who were unaware that their personal privacy had been violated.
Upon learning of this misconduct, Summit leadership promptly confronted Mr. McCaskell. He was immediately terminated according to Summit staff policy. All parties involved were immediately informed of the situation, including the Summit campus where Mitch was previously an elder.
We are deeply grieved for the personal pain and suffering of these three women and the resulting heartbreak and harm from his actions. We are committed to providing professional counseling, care, and support to the victims, as well as Mr. McCaskell’s wife.
We are also committed to cooperating with local law enforcement as they investigate this situation.”
Wake County records show McCaskell bonded out of jail. He is due back in court in late November.