Utah educator waives hearing on sex charges
Courts • Additional charges likely; man allegedly admitted to assaults over 35 years.
Published: March 14, 2013 10:02AM
Updated: March 19, 2013 01:46PM
image
Charles Edward Weber. Courtesy Washington County's Purgatory Correctional Facility

Heber • A Utah man with more than 40 years of experience as a teacher and principal waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday in connection with alleged sex acts with a teenage male student.

Charles Edward Weber, 66, is charged in Wasatch County’s 4th District Court with six first-degree felony counts of forcible sodomy.

Weber allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student between January and April last year.

He was the principal of Soldier Hollow Charter School, but was fired in August.

The Assistant Utah Attorney General Paul Amann said Thursday that a plea deal had been offered to Weber, and the case could be resolved at Weber’s arraignment. However, an arraignment date has not been set.

Amann said more alleged victims have come forward with abuse allegations against Weber since his arrest in December, but he would not say how many people had contacted the AG’s office.

“The number is significant,” Amann said, adding that more charges could be coming.

Weber, meanwhile, is being held at the Wasatch County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

Court papers say authorities launched their investigation last 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.

In a probable cause statement also filed with the court, FBI investigator Jeffrey Ross said that Weber acknowledged in an interview that he had sexually assaulted several male students over the past 35 years, including the most recent alleged victim, court papers said.

On Thursday, several members of the Bikers Against Child Abuse attended Weber’s preliminary hearing. Community members and people involved with Soldier Hollow Charter School also attended, They voiced their support for prosecutors and said they were happy Weber had waived the preliminary hearing and that the alleged victim did not have to testify.

“It was a good thing today,” said one woman, who asked not to be identified, “that these boys don’t have to stand up and tell their story.”

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller