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Judge removes himself from Wasatch County sexual abuse case

Published December 5, 2012 2:09 pm

Principal at a charter school charged with six counts of sodomy.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The judge assigned to hear the case of a Utah educator charged with sexually abusing a young boy while he was the principal of a Wasatch County charter school has excused himself from the case.

Charles Edward Weber, 65, has been charged in 4th District Court with six counts of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony. His first court appearance was Wednesday.

Judge Derek Pullan told attorneys Wednesday that he has strong ties to the Wasatch County community, and therefore could not hear the case, according to defense attorney Sidney Unrau.

Judge Lynn Davis, who presides mostly in Utah County, was assigned instead, according to court documents, but a new date for Weber's initial appearance has not yet been set.

According to a probable cause statement filed in 4th District Court, Weber admitted to detectives that he sexually abused a 15-year-old boy between January and April of this year. The boy had previously been a student at Soldier Hollow Charter School, where Weber was the principal before he was fired in August.

Weber was arrested in southern Utah on Monday and was being held in the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane on $1 million bail.

Court papers say authorities launched their investigation in the fall after a 48-year-old man contacted police to report that he had been sexually abused by Weber between 1975 and 1977. The man, who is not identified in court papers, was then 11 years old and was a student in Weber's class, court papers said.

According to the probable cause statement, FBI investigator Jeffrey Ross said that in an interview, Weber acknowledged sexually assaulting several male students over the past 35 years, including the most recent alleged victim.

A spokesperson with the FBI said earlier this week that the agency has received calls from other potential victims since the charges were reported by the media.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller