Prosecutors say rape suspect pleaded with victim before arrest

Prosecutors say rape suspect pleaded with victim before arrest
TACOMA, Wash. -- Federal prosecutors have released transcripts of phone calls made by a serial rape suspect to one of his alleged victims.

Prosecutors say the voice mail messages prove Weldon Marc Gilbert was trying to manipulate the teen just days before Gilbert was arrested.

Gilbert, a wealthy pilot, has been charged in federal court with child pornography, and faces multiple counts of child rape and molestation in Pierce County.

Detectives have say they have identified at least 20 young victims in video confiscated from Gilbert's home. Investigators are screening through 109 tapes and DVDs which officials say show Gilbert brutally abusing his victims.

Prosecutors say the transcripts released Monday will be used to try to convince a judge to hold Gilbert without bail. Officials say Gilbert, 47, is a flight risk and is desperate to keep his accusers quiet.

The calls were made to a now 18-year-old man after Gilbert learned he was under investigation for child rape. Investigators believe the teen was sexually assaulted by Gilbert beginning when the boy was 12 years old.

"It's really imperative that you talk to me before you talk to those detectives because if not, it's going to involve all your friends and I mean it's going to be a mess… I can help you with what to say," Gilbert said when leaving the teen a message.

"You know, those tapes are out and they are going to be and I mean as soon as those detectives search the house… they are going to have them. They've got all of that stuff on them, you know from all of your friends and it's just -- you've got to call me on this."

Prosecutors say Gilbert is referring to the dozens of tapes seized by detectives that show him abusing young boys.

The court documents say that after obtaining a copy of the search warrant investigators used to enter his Lake Tapps home, Gilbert called the 18 year old again, saying:

"I guess you didn't have a chance to get anything out of the house, but all of those videos, they have them. I mean there is a list of like 53 items. I'm so hosed buddy, I don't know what to do."

When the teen didn't respond, Gilbert called back again:

"I don't know why you're not calling me back. Maybe you've been told and given strict orders not to talk to me," the transcript of the messages read. "I can help so much with this so that we keep your friends out of this. I need to talk to you buddy. Please, please call me."

The messages were left just one day after the teenager contacted police to report the abuse.

Detectives said they've also been contacted by more than 10 possible victims or their family members, and expect the investigation into Gilbert to go on for months or years.