William Randolph “Randy” Cushen III, 35, of west Cobb faces 18 counts of felony sexual exploitation of a child and unlawful surveillance after police found illicit videos on his computer. He turned himself in at the county jail at 6:20 p.m. and was released two hours later after posting a $40,000 bond, according to jail records.
Cushen is accused of setting up hidden cameras that captured video of children, women and men in the pool area of a clubhouse and in the bathroom of his home at The Overlook, just south of Kennesaw in unincorporated Cobb County.
The entrance to the upscale subdivision with large brick archways sits across from the Marietta Country Club, in the heart of west Cobb on Stilesboro Road.
Cushen and his wife, Hope Cushen, are silent partners in a group of three Jimmy John’s restaurants, according to the managing partner, who asked that he be identified only by his first name, Seth.
Hope Cushen, a Marietta real estate agent, said she found disturbing images on her husband’s computer several months ago, after she had filed for a divorce and the two had separated. She immediately notified police.
“I’ve got two little kids I’m trying to take care of. He has nothing to do with Jimmy John’s, he’s never worked in the stores or had a thing to do with the stores,” other than being a silent partner, Hope Cushen said Friday.
She said she did not know her husband had set up hidden cameras to record people until after she had filed for divorce. She is seeking a temporary protective order from the courts, she said.
“They would not give me one. I just left the courthouse and they won’t help me,” she said Friday afternoon. “I’ve been fighting a battle with that the whole time. I had a TPO at one time but it ran out.”
Hope Cushen’s attorney, Bill Morrison of Marietta, entered the room soon after Cushen started speaking with MDJ and asked her not to comment further.
“Right now is a very difficult time for the Cushen family and the Cushen children and at this time no statement will be given other than Mrs. Cushen appreciates the efforts of Cobb County Police and appreciates the work of District Attorney Vic Reynolds, and we’ll move forward from here,” Morrison said.
Neither Randy Cushen nor his attorney, David Canale of Marietta, could be reached Friday.
Seth, the estranged couple’s business partner in the Jimmy John’s venture, said police have been investigating Randy Cushen for six months. He said the revelation of the videos was a shock to everyone.
“I thought Randy was a totally different person than what we found Randy to be,” Seth said. “He was your normal, successful guy at a young age. He had it all, he had money, a pretty wife, nice car, big house, kids. Who would have thought something like this was going on? Everyone is shocked. Look at Hope – her husband of 10 years is not the person she thought he was all these years.”
Seth, 25, said the Cushens had no involvement in the day-to-day operation of the restaurants, located in Acworth, Kennesaw and a third site outside of Cobb.
Seth said he met the Cushens through a mutual friend.
“Because I’m young, I needed someone with equity to underwrite the loan for me, and in exchange I gave him a percentage of the business,” Seth said. “Each one of us (Seth, Hope and Randy Cushen) owned a third of the business. I’m working right now to get his name off those loans.”
llicit videotaping at clubhouse
According to the arrest warrant, on Jan. 1, 2009, at 12:01 a.m. and again on Nov. 13, 2011, at 11:59 p.m., Cushen used a camera to secretly capture video of a woman at 2187 Tayside Crossing, where the subdivision’s pool is located.
The pool has a curly slide starting on the top floor of the clubhouse, which is at the front of the subdivision and sits next to a playground and tennis courts.
Cushen took 21 photographs of another woman without her consent, which showed her nude, according to the warrant.
Before these clubhouse incidents, Cushen is accused of making similar video recordings in 2008 at his home at 2033 Point Grey Court. That address is listed on Cushen’s business license for KSU Enterprises LLC, the corporate name under which the three restaurants are operated.
Police reported in the warrant that Cushen set up a hidden camera in a bathroom to video two other women, two men and two teenage girls while they were urinating.
“(Cushen) did covertly set up the recording device with the intention of capturing the act of the child for his sexual stimulation,” the warrant stated.
Most of the large two-story homes at The Overlook are valued at $400,000 to half a million dollars, with brick and stone exteriors.
Cushen’s house, which sits on a quiet cul-de-sac overlooking Murrays Lake, was boarded up by white wooden shutters on the inside of the large windows. The doorbell had been removed and no one answered the door Friday afternoon.
Cushen’s business interests apparently go beyond the Jimmy John’s restaurants.
On Cushen’s LinkedIn page, he claims to be a managing partner of a Best In Gold store, and the owner and president of an Atlanta Laser Weight Loss Center.
“He was definitely successful at a young age,” said Seth.
Seth said Randy Cushen did not have a key to any of his three restaurants and no video-recording would have occurred there.
“No, he does not have a key, neither one did,” he said. “But he did have access to the financial accounts.”
Cushen released on bond
Officer Mike Bowman with the Cobb County Police said the investigation was launched by information coming out of the civil divorce case.
The crime was unknown to the police and the victims until May and June of 2013.
Police would not say if Cushen had shared the videos with anyone else, either electronically or by mail.
After divorce papers were filed and the videos surfaced, Seth said he was forced to take action to protect his business.
“I run the day-to-day operations and they were just investors in the business, and then all this happened and I had to go to court and I got receivership of all the companies,” he said.
He said he didn’t think the developments would hurt his business.
“I think we’ll pull through, and people know the truth, if you walk in and ask ‘Who’s Randy Cushen?’ people would say ‘Who are you talking about?’” Seth said. “The business is strong, we’re doing really well. We’ve actually created a lot of jobs. I have like 158 employees.”
A staff person at The Overlook clubhouse was shocked by the accusations against Cushen. A developer of the 399-lot subdivision, who has an office at the clubhouse, said Friday afternoon he was not aware of the investigation and had not been contacted by police.
Seth said his former business partner is now under a court order to stay at least 500 feet away from all Jimmy John’s restaurants. He said Hope Cushen remains a partner in good standing with the company.
“She’s all right, she didn’t know about this either. I feel sorry for her,” he said. “They have two kids, and he spent all their money.”