Well-known community and education leader accused of trying to solicit sex from cop posing as minor

Lake Wales community shocked at the charges

LAKE WALES, Fla. - A well-respected leader in the Lake Wales community, schools, and church, is now fighting an embarrassing spotlight.

David Ullman bonded out of jail late Tuesday after getting arrested over the weekend on various charges for trying to solicit sex acts from a minor.

"People are just -- they're shocked," said Jason Fowler, describing what's become the talk of the town in Lake Wales.

Investigators said Ullman responded to an ad on Craigslist created by an undercover detective playing the role of a bored 14-year-old girl.

According to the affidavit, Ullman wrote in an e-mail, "I can help you with your boredom and I can assure you I am a safe, 'family' man."

He later wrote he's "in need of some intimacy and can teach you a few things."

At one point during the correspondence, the affidavit said Ullman wrote, "PS - I am not a cop or in ay way (sic) associated with law enforcement."

"He knew what he was doing.  There's no way that you can justify this," said Fowler, who -- like many in the community -- knows the Ullman family.

Although Ullman bonded out of jail, there was no sign of him Wednesday at his well-kept home that overlooks a lake.

Ullman wore many hats. Besides working as an accountant, he's a leader at the First Presbyterian Church in Lake Wales.

He also serves on the foundation boards for both Polk and the Lake Wales Charter Schools.

ABC Action News learned the minister of Ullman's church, Rev. Chad Reynolds, plans to address the issue during a service on Sunday.

Reynolds released the following statement: "We, the elders of the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales, are aware of the criminal charges David Ullman is facing. Mr. Ullman and his family are members of the First Presbyterian Church. We are striving to minister them and all of our congregation according to God's word with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this very difficult time."

Many of Ullman's friends we talked to off-camera stood behind him and had nothing but praise for the well-known leader, who for the time being, can't be around kids or a computer.

"You can't take everybody at face value a lot of times, and you just never know," said David Morris, who has a lot of friends who are close with Ullman. "Nothing surprises me anymore."

Ullman is out on a $52,000 bond.

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