Man convicted of taking dressing room videos calls recent Va. Beach arrest a ‘misunderstanding’

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A man convicted of a sex crime has been arrested for going onto a Virginia Beach school campus, but he said it’s a misunderstanding, according to court records.

Matthew Rush

Matthew Rush is accused of violating his probation.

As part of his probation agreement, Rush isn’t allowed near schools or playgrounds, he can’t drink alcohol or use social media.

He was convicted of taking video of a teen in a Target dressing room this past summer.

“There are very strict procedures that the Commonwealth put him under when he was released which included a probation officer,” said attorney Richard Doummar, who represented Rush in November when he went to court for the original charges

Now Rush is facing more legal issues.

Police said he broke probation by allegedly showing up on the Cape Henry Collegiate campus at around 5 p.m. and walking around for about an hour, according to court records.

Police responded after there was a report of a suspicious man seen surveillance video,” according to court records.

When approached by school security the suspect allegedly said he was “looking for earbuds for his friend", records state.

When questioned by police he said he thought it was a college campus and was interested in going back to school and didn’t realize it was a school for pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, according to court records.

Cape Henry Collegiate sent News 3 a letter they sent out to their families after the incident.  They said the letter was sent prior to Rush’s arrest and provides their real-time response. They said they updated families on Rush’s identity once he was arrested.

Below is a copy of the letter from Chris S. Garran:

Dear CHC Community,

On Tuesday, February 27, at approximately 5:00 p.m., an unidentified man was on campus. The individual was approached by members of our faculty and staff. When asked, he gave an explanation of looking for a student’s earbuds. Our staff told him he was not allowed in the building and escorted him out. At that time, the staff called school security.

School leadership and security reviewed our 24-hour surveillance video in all areas of the school, as well as in the parking lots, and were able to track the person’s movements while he was on campus as well get a clear picture of his face and vehicle.

School leadership and security notified the Virginia Beach Police Department and filed a report. The video and still photos were shared with police and the school leadership has been working in collaboration with them. The person has been identified by the Virginia Beach Police Department and we understand that a charge is pending.

I want to reassure the community that I take the safety and security of our students and staff most seriously. This person had no reason for being on our campus.I would like to acknowledge the faculty and staff members who followed our safety protocol and addressed this individual and escorted him out. Our school-wide security camera system proved to be extremely beneficial.

I would like to thank the Virginia Beach Police Department for their immediate cooperation and assistance. It is a valuable partnership.

We will remain vigilant in how safety and security is handled at Cape Henry Collegiate. Nothing is more important than the safety of our kids.

Court records states, a month prior Rush was approached by another officer in a separate incident after a concerned citizen called about a man taking video through the glass outside of a women’s workout club.

Rush was not arrested for any crime but allegedly didn’t report the encounter with police to his probation officer, records state.

Police searched Rush’s home and allegedly found alcohol, use of social media, a laptop, a camera and other things he’s allegedly not allowed to have, according to court records.

Rush was arrested.

Doummar hasn’t been hired to represent him again but said every person convicted of a crime deserves their day in court.

“Just because you read facts and circumstances that may be outlined in a probation report doesn't mean that they're accurate, true and can be proved,” said Doummar, “Just because someone is charged with a probation violation or any charge, they are still are presumed innocent.”

Rush is being held here without bond inside the Virginia Beach Jail.

He declined an interview with News 3.