Pastor arrested on sex charges


A pastor at a Jonesboro church was arrested this week on child sex charges, and is being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail.

Samuel Walsham Chapman, 58, of Decatur, was arrested Thursday and charged with child molestation, solicitation of sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

According to Clayton County Magistrate Court records and the church's web site, Chapman is a pastor at Riverdale Seventh-Day Adventist Church, in Jonesboro.

Church officials could not be reached for comment, Friday.

Warrants allege that Chapman took a 15-year-old boy to the parking lot of Tara Stadium in March, and performed a sexual act in front of him. Chapman allegedly asked the boy to perform oral sex on him, but the boy refused, according to an arrest warrant in the case.

The boy told his mother and grandmother about the alleged incident, May 4. Officials conducted a forensic interview with the boy, which included a matching description of Chapman's genitals, according to arrest warrants. Charges were filed Aug. 1.

Chapman made his first appearance, Thursday, in Clayton County Magistrate Court. He was given a bond of $5,000 on the solicitation charge. Bond was considered, but denied on the other two charges.

His next court appearance is an Aug. 18 preliminary hearing.

-- Kathy Jefcoats

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