Accused Molester Given Access to Child Pornography in Case Against Him
By Tom Henderson, ParentDish, July 14, 2011
Accused child molester Weldon Marc Gilbert of Washington state is acting as his own defense counsel, so he gets to personally review the evidence against him.
That means he gets to watch the hundreds of child pornography videos police seized from his home.
The Washington Supreme Court ruled defense attorneys must be allowed to review the evidence against their clients. A judge ruled that right applies to people representing themselves, so Gilbert gets to curl up with his videos.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is not happy about this.
"In my 16 years as a prosecutor, this is one of the most absurd and maddening results I've ever heard of, and this is the first time I'm aware of this happening in Pierce County," he tells ABC News. "We don't have to turn over the guns used as evidence for a defendant ... and it's absurd that we have to turn over the child porn as evidence."
ABC News reports Gilbert even appears in several of the videos. He is accused of child rape, child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor following incidents in 2007. The older brothers of two of the alleged victims called the police on him.
Gilbert allegedly lured boys as young as 12 to his Lake Tapps home near Seattle after providing them sea-plane, boat or helicopter rides. ABC News reports witnesses claim the 50-year-old man gave the boys alcohol and spanked their bare buttocks and (in several cases) engaged the teens in masturbation, oral sex and anal sex.
According to ABC News, authorities found a stash of pornographic videotapes and DVDs depicting 250 scenes involving 40 individuals, including one of a boy who was 12 years old. Police also allegedly found a cassette tape on which Gilbert described his spanking fantasies in addition to a variety of sex toys, paddles, blindfolds, spanking devices and two handguns.
And this is a guy who gets to watch child pornography?
"Make no mistake. I don't like it. But it is not my choice whether to do it or not to do it," Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor tells ABC. "There's no question that I don't like it, no question that this makes me grind my teeth."
What can be done about it?
"This is a law that needs to be fixed," Lindquist tells ABC. He adds he is not only appealing the judge's ruling but taking the issue to the Legislature.