- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - A New York man accused of raping three girls under the age of six and posing in pictures with them was arrested Friday in the Tampa Bay area, authorities said.

Jesse Sawyer Jr., 25, was taken into custody on an FBI warrant on charges stemming from the alleged abuse in Troy, N.Y., authorities said.

Pinellas Park police said officers made contact with Sawyer on Thursday at an address provided by Troy police. Sawyer was “cooperative” while officers contacted the FBI to confirm the arrest warrant. But after an hour passed with no confirmation, they had to let Sawyer go.

A short time later, the FBI confirmed the warrant, but when police returned to the location, Sawyer was gone.

Pinellas Park Police Sgt. Adam Geissenberger said Sawyer was living at the Calvary Chapel church as part of a rehabilitation program. According to the church’s website, it offers drug and alcohol addiction ministries and a homeless outreach program. It’s unclear which program Sawyer was in.

One of the people at the church said Sawyer had talked about wanting to surrender. Officers called Sawyer on his phone, located him and he was arrested peacefully, Geissenberger said.

The sergeant said he doesn’t think Sawyer has an attorney.

Once Sawyer is interviewed by Pinellas Park Police, he will be booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

Eventually, Sawyer will be extradited to New York.

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