Man frequently tied up two girls

Child molester sentenced to life in prison

An Imperial Beach man convicted of tying up and molesting two girls – ages 6 and 8 – was sentenced yesterday to life in prison.

In August, a jury found Robert Samuel Kircher, 41, guilty of multiple counts of aggravated sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct on children under the age of 14.

He also was convicted of one count of possessing child pornography related to images found on his home computer.

San Diego Superior Court Judge William Kennedy said Kircher’s prison sentence was broken into two consecutive terms: 140 years to life, plus an additional eight years and eight months.

The judge explained that Kircher was eligible for the lengthy sentence because the molestations took place at different times and in different places, and because the victims were especially vulnerable.

During Kircher’s trial, prosecutors said he repeatedly molested the daughters of two women he dated, starting in 1999.

One of the victims, who often stayed overnight with her mother at Kircher’s house, testified that Kircher had sex with her several times a week on the couch where she slept.

In 2001, Kircher met a Georgia woman and molested her 6-year-old daughter when the family moved to Imperial Beach to live with him.

Both girls testified that Kircher bound them with either duct tape or rope. One said she was molested while tied to an exercise bench.

Kircher’s lawyer, Gerald Smith, argued that the two girls made up the accusations.

Yesterday in court, Kircher said he couldn’t understand how he could face such a hefty prison sentence.

“I’ve always done good for people,” Kircher said. “I just don’t understand how the system works.”

A few family members described him in court as a well-respected, hard-working man who had always lent a helping hand to others.

But prosecutor Claudine Ruiz described a different Kircher, one whose crimes against two young girls demonstrated “violence,” “cruelty” and “viciousness.”

The mother of one of the victims said her family has been devastated by Kircher’s actions. The woman told the judge she waited for days to hear a verdict of “guilty” from the jury, but the experience left her unsettled. “Although it was a victory, I really don’t feel like a winner,” she said.

Published in: on November 3, 2007 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pierce County man charged with multiple counts of child rape

Investigators have arrested a Pierce County man they believe raped at least 20 boys, and maybe more, for at least the past six years in acts captured on videotapes found in his Lake Tapps home.

“We have located some victims, but there are plenty more out there and we want to hear from them,” Pierce County sheriff’s detective Ed Troyer said Saturday.

Weldon Marc Gilbert, 47, was arrested in Atlanta, Ga., earlier this week by local police and FBI agents. He was charged Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court with four counts of second-degree child rape, two counts of third-degree child rape, one count of second-degree child molestation and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

He is expected to be extradited to Pierce County to face those charges.

A pilot for UPS, Gilbert was in Atlanta for job training when authorities picked him up.

“This guy’s got the money and the means to run,” Troyer said.

Gilbert is also part owner of an aviation company that operates out of Thun Field in Pierce County.

Sheriff’s detectives believe Gilbert lured some of his victims by offering them rides on a luxury helicopter. Later, he would take them to his home, give them alcohol, then tie them up and sexually assault them.

Many of the assaults were apparently captured on videotape, some with hidden cameras. Detectives who searched Gilbert’s home recovered more than 100 videotapes and DVDs of the assaults. A room in Gilbert’s home seemed designed just for this type of activity, Troyer said.

But the images were also high quality, leading investigators to question whether the tapes were intended to be distributed as child pornography.

“That’s what we’re concerned about,” Troyer said, adding that while many of the acts appeared to have occurred in Gilbert’s home, some seem to have taken place in studio settings.

Detectives began looking into the pilot’s activities Tuesday, after two men reported that they thought he was molesting their younger brothers. Investigators spoke with the older boy, now 18, who said Gilbert began molesting him in 2001, after the victim’s father died.

The young man gave detectives a videotape showing Gilbert abusing his 12-year-old brother.

Troyer said investigators on the case have examined roughly one-third of the videos and expect they will identify even more victims.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “We’ve just started the investigation.”

In a search of Gilbert’s home, detectives discovered the tapes, DVDs, computer discs, several cameras, ropes, blindfolds and assorted sex toys.

Troyer said if detectives identify other people in the videos, or anyone who assisted Gilbert in taping these acts, then other arrests could follow. And additional charges against Gilbert are almost certainly to follow.

“The scope of this one is yet to be determined.,” Troyer said. “The degradation and cruelty in this is pretty bad.”

Published in: on November 3, 2007 at 7:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Pierce County man charged with multiple counts of child rape

Investigators have arrested a Pierce County man they believe raped at least 20 boys, and maybe more, for at least the past six years in acts captured on videotapes found in his Lake Tapps home.

“We have located some victims, but there are plenty more out there and we want to hear from them,” Pierce County sheriff’s detective Ed Troyer said Saturday.

Weldon Marc Gilbert, 47, was arrested in Atlanta, Ga., earlier this week by local police and FBI agents. He was charged Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court with four counts of second-degree child rape, two counts of third-degree child rape, one count of second-degree child molestation and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

He is expected to be extradited to Pierce County to face those charges.

A pilot for UPS, Gilbert was in Atlanta for job training when authorities picked him up.

“This guy’s got the money and the means to run,” Troyer said.

Gilbert is also part owner of an aviation company that operates out of Thun Field in Pierce County.

Sheriff’s detectives believe Gilbert lured some of his victims by offering them rides on a luxury helicopter. Later, he would take them to his home, give them alcohol, then tie them up and sexually assault them.

Many of the assaults were apparently captured on videotape, some with hidden cameras. Detectives who searched Gilbert’s home recovered more than 100 videotapes and DVDs of the assaults. A room in Gilbert’s home seemed designed just for this type of activity, Troyer said.

But the images were also high quality, leading investigators to question whether the tapes were intended to be distributed as child pornography.

“That’s what we’re concerned about,” Troyer said, adding that while many of the acts appeared to have occurred in Gilbert’s home, some seem to have taken place in studio settings.

Detectives began looking into the pilot’s activities Tuesday, after two men reported that they thought he was molesting their younger brothers. Investigators spoke with the older boy, now 18, who said Gilbert began molesting him in 2001, after the victim’s father died.

The young man gave detectives a videotape showing Gilbert abusing his 12-year-old brother.

Troyer said investigators on the case have examined roughly one-third of the videos and expect they will identify even more victims.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “We’ve just started the investigation.”

In a search of Gilbert’s home, detectives discovered the tapes, DVDs, computer discs, several cameras, ropes, blindfolds and assorted sex toys.

Troyer said if detectives identify other people in the videos, or anyone who assisted Gilbert in taping these acts, then other arrests could follow. And additional charges against Gilbert are almost certainly to follow.

“The scope of this one is yet to be determined.,” Troyer said. “The degradation and cruelty in this is pretty bad.”

Published in: on November 3, 2007 at 7:18 am  Leave a Comment