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Local missionary admitted to molestation, making child porn, officials say

William Scott Kennell was arrested on counts of child molestation and child porn 06-04-13 (Seminole County Sheriff's Department)
William Scott Kennell was arrested on counts of child molestation and child porn (Seminole County Sheriff's Department)
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Updated: 6/05/2013 9:43 am
SANFORD, Fla. -- A local missionary is facing charges because federal agents said he admitted to molesting children and making child pornography.

Warren Scott Kennell, who said he is with New Tribes Mission in Sanford, was arrested at Orlando International Airport Friday.

Investigators said they found pictures of him molesting a young girl.

WFTV's Jeff Deal is the only reporter to talk with federal agents about the bust.

Investigators said Kennell admitted to molesting four children, all around the age of 12.

Kennell took pictures of all of the children, investigators said.

An official from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they received a tip that Kennel was posting questionable photos on the Internet.

"We received information that made us aware of this individual and we conducted that secondary inspection as a result," said Public Affairs Officer Carissa Cutrell.

Investigators said when they confronted him at the airport, he initially denied any connection to child porn.

When investigators opened his bag, they said they found a hard drive, and on it, pornographic images of children.

Kennell admitted he was in one of the photos molesting a young girl, investigators said.

WFTV found photos of Kennell online, posing with children and the New Tribes Mission logo.

He appears to go by his middle name "Scott."

His New Tribes Mission biography describes Kennell as a language teacher who grew up in Brazil, the son of missionaries. He went back to Brazil in 1994 as a missionary himself, according to his biography.

"I just think it's wrong, especially someone who is supposed to be preaching the word and talking to people," said Sanford mother Denisha Powell.

New Tribes Mission sent a statement saying it is "heartsick at the thought that children have been victimized."

Kennell has been placed on leave.

Investigators have not said if he met the children through his work as a missionary.


Video: WFTV Orlando
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

credbrook - 6/5/2013 10:05 AM
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This case as well as those of Sylvain Kustyan, Ariel Castro, and Jerry Sandusky prove the urgency to catch these menaces to our young children BEFORE they have decades to prey on our their innocent little victims. While the others have been brought to justice, Kustyan, formerly of Tuscaloosa AL and France, fled the US after having been formally charged with two counts each of 1st Degree Sodomy and Sexual Abuse of a ten-year-old little boy. Kustyan is now a fugitive from the law and thought to be in Europe. As the recidivism rate among pedophiles is virtually 100%, it is imperative that they be apprehended ASAP!
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