(SD)-Former IHS Pediatrician Guilty On All Counts In Pine Ridge Molestation
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A federal jury in Rapid City has found former pediatrician with the Indian Health Services accused of child sexual abuse guilty on all 8 counts.
70-year old Dr Stanley Patrick Weber faces up to life in prison when sentenced on 5 counts of aggravated sexual abuse and 3 counts of sexual abuse of a minor. No sentencing date has been set.
U-S Attorney for South Dakota Ron Parsons says the guilty verdict was extremely important because "Weber was a walking talking nightmare on the Pine Ridge Reservation - the worst kind of predator, someone placed in a position of trust, a pediatrician, who used that position, abused it to rape and sexually molest the children entrusted to his care."
Jurors heard 3 days of testimony, then deliberated for about 4 hours Friday before finding Weber guilty of sexually abusing Native American children while he was a doctor on the Pine Ridge reservation.
While there were allegations that Weber had abused well over a dozen children between 1995 and 2011, the charges were based on only 4 - although 7 men testified about being molested.
In closing arguments, prosecutor Sarah Collin told jurors that Weber created a "perfect recipe for prolific sexual abuse for 18 years," as he carefully chose and groomed his victims.
Lead defense attorney Harvey Steinberg used his closing statement to again questioned both what he called inconsistencies in the stories told by the accusers and in the thoroughness and fairness of the investigation, proclaiming a "lack of investigation" and a "rush to judgment."
Weber was convicted of similar charges last year in Montana for a similar pattern of sexual abuse to Native American children while serving at an IHS hospital on a reservation in that state, and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
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