Raphael Warnock, the Democratic candidate for a Georgia Senate seat, was previously arrested for attempting to interfere with a child abuse investigation, according to a report from the Washington Free Beacon.
Maryland State Police reports obtained by The Beacon show the incident occurred 18 years ago when Warnock was serving as the senior pastor at a church-run summer camp in Maryland.
An August 2002 report from The Baltimore Sun states that Warnock and another individual were “accused in court documents of trying to prevent a state trooper of interviewing counselors at Camp Farthest Out.”
Told counselors not to talk to police
The arresting officer in the case said police had scheduled interviews on July 31 with several counselors as part of an investigation into possible abuse at the facility.
According to the police reports cited by The Beacon, Warnock repeatedly discouraged camp counselors from speaking to law enforcement.
A July 2002 criminal investigative report from officer and veteran investigator Danielle Barry said that Warnock, along with Rev. Mark Andre Wainwright, “interfered with a criminal investigation by interrupting interviews and directing people not to talk to investigators.”
The pair allegedly demanded to participate in the interviews and then said that the camp’s office could not be used for questioning.
Barry said she was then told by the two men that they “did not like how things were progressing and therefore ‘they’ would not be cooperating in the case further.”
“This investigator explained to the reverends that what they were doing was committing a crime for which they could be arrested,” she wrote.
After the interview moved to a picnic area, Warnock and Wainwright are alleged to have approached Barry and again demanded to be present.
“This investigator commented to the reverends that she was surprised to see them in light of the recent conversation,” Barry wrote. She added that when a camper attempted to speak to the investigators, one of the men “grabbed the camper by the arm and directed him away from these investigators,” telling “the camper that he was not to talk to these people.” It was then that Barry and another officer decided to arrest Warnock and Wainwright.
This is not the first time troubling stories from Warnock’s past have come to light. In 1995, Warnock was serving as the youth pastor at a church that welcomed brutal Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to speak, Fox News reported.