Surprise and concern tonight in Lompoc as parents are finding out a man has been arrested for child sexual abuse. What has them more worried is the location where he worked.
That man, 36-year-old Lompoc resident Royce Devin Warner, was an employee at the Lompoc Unified School District. We’re told he worked in the printing department since July of last year.
Parents around town were pretty surprised to hear about this arrest.
“I’m shocked.. actually I’m pretty scared,” concerned parent Latwila Sims Frelot said.
Latwila Sims Frelot is the mother of a young four year old.
“You’d never imagine that something like that would be going on here but I guess it could happen anywhere,” Frelot said.
She’s talking about Lompoc resident Royce Devin Warner. Santa Barbara county Sheriff’s investigators first arrested Warner back in June on felony child pornography charges out of North Dakota and Warner has been awaiting extradition.
“He was at his work when he was arrested which was June 20th at the print shop at the Lompoc Unified School District where he was employed,” Kelly Hoover with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said.
While awaiting extradition in jail, he was arrested again on July 13th following an investigation alleging that he continually sexually abused a child in Santa Barbara County. He will face his charges in California before being considered for extradition to North Dakota.
“This child has already been through too much,” Hoover said.
The Sheriff’s Department and the Lompoc Unified School District could not say if Warner’s alleged victim was a Lompoc student but said they are concerned there may be more victims out there.
“Student safety is absolutely the highest priority in the Lompoc Unified School District,” Lompoc Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Margaret Christensen said.
Lompoc Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Margaret Christensen says the print shop is not located on a school campus and that Warner had no direct access to children.
Christensen says there is an elementary school next to the District office and a Head Start program on District office property.
“All of our employees receive background checks,” Christensen said.
Parents were glad to hear Warner is behind bars. Holly Heath is a Lompoc mother of six.
“I’m glad that people are willing to report it and take care of it the way it should be,” parent Holly Heath said.
“I just feel for the parents and the kids who are subjected to that,” Frelot said.
Warner remains in jail on a $500,000 bond. He’s due back in court on September 8th .
If you have any information or know anyone who is a victim, contact the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division, Santa Maria Office at (805) 934-6170 .