Shamba Warlick gets 12-year prison term

Samuel Shamba Warlick, who was accused of sexually abusing the children of Presbyterian missionaries in Africa in the 1980s, has been sentenced to 12 years and six months in federal prison for distributing child pornography.

Warlick, 40, was arrested on the child pornography charges last January and pleaded guilty on May 27.

Last January, law enforcement officials raided the home in suburban Orlando, Fla., that Warlick shared with his parents, seized several computers and arrested him. According to a news release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, documents presented in court showed that Warlick distributed to an undercover law enforcement officer “40 pictures and six videos depicting prepubescent boys engaged in sexually explicit activity.”

The news release states that “Warlick admitted that he had been downloading and trading child pornography for at least the past 10 years. In addition, he admitted to posing as a teenager online and engaging minor boys in sexual conversation in order to persuade them into sending him nude pictures. Law enforcement officers searched Warlick’s computers and found more than 1,200 pictures and 343 videos of child pornography involving prepubescent children.”

In October 2010, an Independent Abuse Review Panel investigating reports of sexual abuse involving the children of Presbyterian missionaries serving abroad documented 30 cases of abuse at boarding schools in Africa and Asia from 1950 to 1990. The panel publicly named six people that it determined had sexually abused children.

Among them was Warlick, who, in the late 1980s, was the teenage son of Presbyterian mission co-workers in the Congo. The report determined that Warlick had sexually abused at least two boys at the Methodist-Presbyterian Hostel associated with the American School of Kinshasa, where both he and the boys were then staying. In an interview in the fall of 2010 – before his arrest – Warlick denied the allegations in the abuse panel’s report.

Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the U.S. District Court division in Orlando imposed Warlick’s sentence Dec. 6. Under its terms, Warlick must serve a 20-year term of supervised release after he finishes his prison sentence. He also was ordered to forfeit the computers he used to distribute and store the child pornography.