Ex-BPD officer accused of sexually abusing children at wife’s day care indicted on 21 criminal...
By Darcy Costello | The Baltimore Sun • August 24, 2022 | Original Source
The former Baltimore Police officer facing allegations of sexually abusing children at his wife’s Owings Mills day care center has been indicted in Baltimore County Circuit Court on 21 charges.
The grand jury indicted James S. Weems Jr., 57, on Monday on charges of sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree rape, second-degree assault and other sex offenses. It also charged Weems with offenses not in original charging documents, including unnatural sex practice and solicitation of a minor to produce obscene material.
Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said the indictment covers two victims. Police previously wrote in charging documents that three children had been identified who were targeted by Weems.
Shellenberger declined to comment further when asked whether he expected additional indictments or if there were pending criminal cases connected to other victims.
No defense attorney for Weems was listed in his circuit court case. A public defender who represented him in district court previously told a judge that despite the “objectionable, serious charges,” Weems deserves his day in court. The judge in that Aug. 2 hearing ordered Weems held without bond.
Charging documents indicated police began investigating Weems in early July when a family contacted law enforcement after they found their child watching pornographic videos they said “Mr. James” showed them. About three weeks later, the agency obtained an arrest warrant for him.
The sexual abuse allegations surfaced publicly, separate from the Baltimore County investigation into Weems, when his wife was arrested for shooting him July 21 in Washington, D.C. Shanteari Weems, 50, who is facing criminal charges for that shooting, accused her husband of abusing children at her day care, Lil Kidz Kastle.
Police said in charging documents that the first victim told a relative they’d been sexually abused on the playground and a day care bus, and told investigators that Weems showed them inappropriate videos on his cellphone.
The second child told investigators a male day care employee had touched them under their clothes and told them if the child told they would “get in trouble.”
The third said “Mr. James” had touched them in a “very inappropriate way.”
State officials shut down the day care July 20 amid the ongoing police investigation. Police said Weems worked there for about four years and drove the day care’s van for about two. An assistant state’s attorney said in a hearing earlier this month that he’d been informed by a lead detective that Weems had overlapped with 93 children at the day care during his time working.
Weems retired as a detective from Baltimore Police in 2005. He continued working there as a contract specialist tasked with administrative duties until 2008.
The grand jury’s indictment says the criminal offenses occurred between March 1, 2020 and July 3, 2022.
Weems’ charges include five counts of sexual abuse of a minor, four counts of second-degree assault and three counts each of second-degree rape, third-degree sexual offense and fourth-degree sexual contact. He is also charged with unnatural or perverted sexual practice, displaying obscene material to a minor and soliciting a minor in the production of obscene material.
Twelve of the criminal charges are felonies; nine are misdemeanors.
Weems’ next court date was not available Wednesday.