Fellowship Memphis Church hires crisis management firm after Rick Trotter's arrest
Former Memphis Grizzlies announcer Rick Trotter was arrested on August 9, accused of filming "upskirt" videos while women were kneeling at worship services at Downtown Church earlier this year. Stotter reportedly recorded women and minors at another church, Fellowship Memphis, in 2010, where he was on staff as a worship leader from 2005-2010. After the camera was discovered at Fellowship, Stotter was fired, but church officials did not report this incident to law enforcement, according to Memphis Police Department's Lt. Karen Rudolph. Two of Trotter's alleged victims that he recorded are minors. Everyone in Tennessee is a mandated reporter under state law.
The "independent outside firm" that Fellowhip Memphis has hired "to investigate any and all facts surrounding this matter" of Rick Trotter's alleged crimes is the crisis management firm Caissa Public Strategy based in Memphis and Washington, D.C..
2 of Trotter’s victims were 15 and 16 yo and @fellowshipmem church discouraged parents from reporting to the police https://t.co/GcdN0UNavM— Amy Smith (@watchkeep) August 16, 2016
Churches tried to help Rick Trotter, but what about the women who were trespassed against? asks @DavidWatersCA https://t.co/WeWdsWPBIc— Commercial Appeal (@memphisnews) August 13, 2016
Fellowship Church lead pastor John Bryson and Downtown Church lead pastor Richard Rieves issued a joint statement after Trotter's arrest. The full statement is here.
Though Fellowship Church states that they are "here for the victims," their recent communications suggest otherwise.
Every organization is vulnerable to a crisis. From accidents or rogue bloggers, to product recalls or community relation challenges, crises can occur in many forms. Quick, well-thought out action, is necessary to protect your reputation and your bottom line.It is disturbing that Fellowship Memphis has hired a PR firm to investigate information regarding allegations of criminal behavior during Rick Trotter's employment. Church members with information are instructed to contact Jessica Muntz at Caissa Public Strategy.
Her background in customer service and both television and radio news ensures that you and your project will always come first and get the visibility it needs. She's your eyes and ears on the ground.
Anyone with information about possible crimes by Rick Trotter should contact the Memphis police department, not church officials. Fellowship Memphis is directly soliciting information from members about alleged criminal activity at the church to be handled by a firm hired to help the church protect their brand in a crisis. Fellowship Memphis Church is placing their image and reputation management above all.
PR handler @TheJessicaMuntz @CaissaPS has just now protected her tweets and removed "brand manager" from her bio pic.twitter.com/H6ho46ze3A— Amy Smith (@watchkeep) August 23, 2016
Trotter reportedly posted some of his upskirt recordings online that he took of women @FellowshipMem @dwtnchurchmem https://t.co/lchC2fNOaX— Amy Smith (@watchkeep) August 19, 2016
The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown… https://t.co/4qaqLhuqrC— David Bonner (@DCEagle1) August 22, 2016
@watchkeep @FellowshipMem @TheJessicaMuntz Hiring PR and doing right by victims are exclusive paths. You can't do both.— Mike Sloan (@mikeasloan) August 23, 2016
Fellowship Church hires Crisis Management Team following #RickTrotter arrest. #wmc5https://t.co/QK7scgi05A pic.twitter.com/5rmWZJakyP— WMC Action News 5 (@WMCActionNews5) August 24, 2016
He blocked me after I asked him when he "immediately" reported Rick Trotter to "police & DCS." @bcloritts #ERLC2016 pic.twitter.com/6jYR3YlcAD— Amy Smith (@watchkeep) August 25, 2016
Oops. Not according to Lt. Karen Rudolph of the @MemphisPD @bcloritts https://t.co/PJ3eL482Z9 #ERLC2016 #RickTrotter pic.twitter.com/XhX2qOklXc— Amy Smith (@watchkeep) August 25, 2016