How Could You? Hall of Shame-Steven Irving Weissman UPDATED
This will be an archive of heinous actions by those involved in child welfare, foster care and adoption. We forewarn you that these are deeply disturbing stories that may involve sex abuse, murder, kidnapping and other horrendous actions.
From Soquel, California, foster parent and school volunteer Steven Irving Weissman, 57, has been arrested for molesting two boys.
“A 57-year-old Soquel foster parent and school volunteer is accused of molesting two boys, according to deputies, who believe there may be more victims.
Steven Irving Weissman was in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on Friday for arraignment on a single count of child molestation. He was arrested on that charge Monday, two days after deputies were told a 14-year-old boy had been molested, sheriff’s deputy Ryan Kennedy said.
In court, prosecutor Steve Moore added seven new felony child molestation charges against Weissman after deputies identified a second victim, an adult who prosecutors allege was abused by Weissman several years ago when he was 9.
Weissman pleaded not guilty to all the charges. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
At Moore’s request, Judge Ariadne Symons raised the bail amount to $350,000.
The request was made because “we think it reflects a higher level of criminality,” Moore said.
Weissman, who was out on $50,000 bail for the first arrest, was taken back into custody, Moore said.
The initial complaint against Weissman came Saturday. Further investigation revealed the second victim, Kennedy said.
Since Weissman has been a foster parent for 16 years and volunteered with local elementary schools and community youth activities, investigators believe there are additional victims, Kennedy said.
Sheriff’s detectives ask anyone with information to call 831-471-1121.
Weissman’s next court date is Aug. 28 to set a preliminary hearing, which will determine if there’s enough evidence to go to trial.”
[Santa Cruz Sentinel 8/9/13 by Calvin Men]
“Detectives declined to say which local schools Weissman volunteered at because parents and students had not been notified yet.
Weissman was a foster parent for “several children,” Kennedy added.”
[KSBW 8/9/13 by Amy Larson]
REFORM Puzzle Pieces
Update: “Weissman volunteered as a foster parent, served as a mentor with the big Brothers and Sisters program, helped at two unnamed schools, and brought children to his home to look at the snakes he raised, according to police.
Some of his neighbors said they felt uneasy about Weissman, who lived nearby for about six years.
Weissman ran a company called Santa Cruz Reptiles and kept snakes inside his garage where children would often visit, police said.
Last week, a 14-year-old boy said he was molested by Weissman.
During Weissman’s arraignment last Friday, another victim came forward.
“The second victim was victimized when he was 9 years old. He’s an adult now. The victim ended up coming forward after they heard Mr. Weissman was placed in custody,” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ryan Kennedy.
Weissman served as a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.
They declined to speak with KSBW but issued a statement that read, “Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz is aware of the charges involving a former volunteer with our organization. We are angered and saddened by news of any child being harmed or exploited in any way.”
Update 2: A third victim has come forward.
“A 57-year-old Soquel foster parent and school volunteer has been accused of molesting three boys, prosecutors said Monday.
Steven Irving Weissman was charged Monday with 10 counts of felony child molestation, adding to charges filed earlier in August.
Prosecutor Steve Moore said Weissman took advantage of children for more than 10 years.
“We’re only on victim three, and we’re interviewing a fourth victim,” Moore told Judge Ariadne Symons during a bail hearing on Monday. “This is going to be an ongoing investigation.”
Moore added that Weissman, who ran a business that sold reptiles, met children on the street and later had them “sleep over” at his home on Benson Avenue in Soquel.
Weissman appeared calm in court in orange jail clothes. Judge Symons kept his bail set at $700,000.
He faces life in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors.
Weissman volunteered at a school and mentored children in a Big Brothers Big Sisters program, prosecutors said in court.
Outside court, Moore declined to name the school and program — but he said any other alleged victims should contact the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office at 831-471-1121.
Lisa McCamey, Weissman’s attorney, said Weissman had no criminal record and has lived in Santa Cruz County for decades.
“I understand the severity of the charges and I want to address them more fully,” McCamey said in court.
Weissman is due for a preliminary hearing Sept. 3.”
[Santa Cruz Sentinel 8/19/13 by Stephen Baxter]