News

Prosecutor charges man with felony sex crimes

By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office has been charged Weldon Marc Gilbert, a resident of Tapps Island, with a series of sex crimes involving juvenile boys.

Gilbert, 47, was charged with four counts of second-degree rape of a child, two counts of third-degree rape of a child, one count of second-degree child molestation and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The nine felony sex crimes are alleged to have occurred between March 14, 2001, and Oct. 29.

Police officers and FBI agents arrested Gilbert Thursday in Atlanta, based on a Pierce County warrant. He is currently being detained in Atlanta awaiting extradition to Pierce County.

Gilbert is a pilot for United Parcel Service and has docked a floatplane and helicopter at his home on Tapps Island.

Pierce County detectives broke the case open Oct. 30 when two men reported their two younger brothers were being sexually molested by Gilbert.

“We had someone come forward and the detectives followed up,” said Ed Troyer, a Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

The two boys are currently 18 and 13 years old. The prosecutor's office stated in charging documents that Gilbert met the older boy when he was 12, shortly after the boy's father died.

The boy told prosecutors he went to Gilbert's home on Tapps Island and the defendant took him on trips to Hong Kong, Thailand and Europe.

Gilbert is accused of spanking the boy using his hand and an assortment of paddles. The defendant also had the boy spank him and Gilbert performed other sex acts on the boy.

The prosecutor stated in the papers the boy discovered Gilbert had videotaped the spankings and the defendant spanking others. The papers stated Gilbert would often pay the boy for the spankings. The boy had been living with the defendant for several months with the last incident occurring Oct. 28.

Detectives searched the defendants residence Oct. 31 seizing videotapes DVDs, CDs, floppy discs, assorted sex toys, numerous paddles, several cameras, blindfolds, ropes, bondage implements, computers and two handguns.

The detectives tracked down Gilbert in Atlanta. He was there for job training and the detectives alerted Atlanta police and the FBI of his location.

Reports stated Gilbert assisted the Save Lake Tapps Coalition with aerial photographs of the area. Leon Stucki, a member of the Lake Tapps Community Council, said Gilbert took a member of the coalition up in an airplane for photographs.

“As far as we know (the airtime) was his only donation to the cause,” Stucki said. “He had nothing to do with us other than the aerial donation.”

According to other members of the council, Gilbert was not known to the members nor had he attended any community meetings concerning the lake.

Detectives may be providing evidence to the prosecutor of other boys Gilbert is accused of molesting.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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