Investigators talking to other potential victims of ex-principal, FBI says
MIDWAY — As the probe continued Tuesday into a former teacher and principal who allegedly told police he molested children for more than 35 years, investigators are wondering how many other potential victims are out there.
The FBI confirmed that it received phone calls Tuesday from others who may have been victims of Charles Edward Weber, spokeswoman Debbie Bertram said. Agents are investigating those new allegations.
Weber, 65, of South Jordan, was arrested Monday after being charged in 4th District Court with six counts of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony. He had been an educator for more than 40 years, most recently as principal of the award-winning Soldier Hollow Charter School in Midway.
The charges stem from Weber's alleged sexual abuse of a 15-year-old student in Midway between January and August of this year. The abuse stopped just before the boy turned 16, according to court documents.
A warrant was issued for Weber, and he was arrested at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. Police would not say why he had been in the hospital.
Weber was taken to the Wasatch County Jail Tuesday and was scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Heber City.
The case against Weber began when a 48-year-old man recently told FBI agents that Weber molested him between 1975 and 1977. He said the abuse began when he was 11 years old and Weber was his elementary school teacher.
The allegations involving that former student remained under investigation Tuesday and no charges have been filed in that case.
When investigators interviewed Weber on Nov. 29, he "admitted to sexually abusing several young boys over the past 35 years," a police affidavit filed in court states.
"Based on his access to children, position of trust and statements he has made makes us concerned there are other victims out there," said Paul Murphy, spokesman for the Utah Attorney General's Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which participated in the arrest.
Officials were concerned about Weber being a flight risk, according to court documents, noting that he had "substantial assets" including homes in Wasatch and Salt Lake counties. They also had information that "after becoming aware of the investigation (he) fled Wasatch and Salt Lake County for Washington County," the affidavit states.
His bail was set at $1 million.
Weber was fired in August from Soldier Hollow Charter School. State school officials would not say why he was fired but indicated that it was not because of sexual misconduct. They referred questions to David Sullivan, chairman of the Soldier Hollow school board. He did not return several phone calls for comment.
Tim Mugridge, a father of three children who attend the school, claimed Tuesday that a former board member told him they were aware of misconduct when Weber was fired in the summer.
"I'm not sure if I have full confidence in the board to lead us through this situation when they had information back in August pertaining to his misconduct. We parents should have been aware and somebody should have been notified," he said.
Anyone who may have information about the investigation is asked to call the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at 801-281-1211; the FBI at 801-579-1400; or the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office at 435-654-1098.
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