An Oviedo man with past ties to church missions in Africa was arrested by the FBI on child-pornography charges Friday.
The arrest of Samuel Shamba Warlick comes three months after the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) published a report unrelated to the FBI case accusing Warlick of sexually abusing children at a housing facility for missionary families in the Congo in the late 1980s.
Warlick, 39, made an appearance Friday afternoon in Orlando federal court and was ordered to be jailed until a hearing next week. He faces charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, and could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
According to court documents, law-enforcement officers began investigating Warlick in an undercover capacity online in December.
When agents searched his home Friday, Warlick told them he has possessed child pornography for the past 10 years and that he prefers boys who are between 13 and 16 years old.
He also admitted to posing online as a 16-year-old boy, with the goal of persuading boys to send him nude photos of themselves, records show.
The nearly 600-page report by the Presbyterian Church's Independent Abuse Review Panel said Warlick participated in activities or was employed by Winter Park Presbyterian Church and Park Lake Presbyterian Church in Orlando.
Attempts to reach both churches Friday were unsuccessful.
The report also said Warlick had ties to a Boy Scout troop in Orlando, but a Central Florida Council representative said he is not a current registered leader and they don't have records of him being so in the last three years.
The Church report also said Warlick has ties to Camp Westminster in Georgia, Presbyterian College in South Carolina, as a volunteer at the Shadowcliff Life Center in Colorado, and as a "volunteer in mission" at the Time for God program at YMCA in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Church's report details inquiries into sexual abuse claims that occurred on 10 Presbyterian mission fields, spanning a 40-year period.
The Panel stated it named Warlick in the report because of aggravating factors, including that his behavior could have been prosecuted criminally had it occurred in the United States.
Warlick was accused of sexually abusing multiple children in the Congo while he was a teenager.
The Panel's report said Warlick abused children who were sleeping, and his victims were younger, smaller, and less able to resist.
On two occasions, the report said, the parental supervisor drove Warlick home after incidents at the housing facility. The drives were significant because they occurred late at night in Kinshasa, "which was an unusual and dangerous time to be driving that distance."
Some missionary parents viewed Warlick's behavior as abusive and took steps to try to protect the other missionary kids who they thought were at risk, the report said.
Although numerous adults were aware of the incidents, there is no indication they brought the issue to the attention of the appropriate board or any church officials who could have intervened, the Panel found.
"The evidence of parents planning informal preventive measures is indication of awareness of the need to do more to protect children," the report said. "Given this, it is tragic, from the Panel's perspective, that no adult in the mission community did more to protect the residents of the Hostel."
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/os-child-po ... 5740.story