Serial child molester gets 25 years

Serial child molester gets 25 years
TACOMA, Wash. -- A wealthy Lake Tapps pilot who used money, alcohol and manipulation to molest more than a dozen boys was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday.

Weldon Marc Gilbert, who worked as a pilot for UPS, pleaded guilty in April to multiple charges, including 31 counts of production of child pornography and transporting a minor across state lines for sexual activity.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors wrote that Gilbert remains "incapable of real remorse" for the damage he did to at least 17 boys as young as 10, and that he repeatedly described his actions as "harmless fun."

He even wrote a letter to the parents of two of his victims, saying he had fallen in love with their sons.

The 25-year sentence was the maximum allowable under the plea agreement between Glibert and prosecutors. He also waived his right to appeal.

In federal court on Monday, Gilbert apologized to his victims and said he deserved whatever sentence the judge gave him.

Prosecutors said Gilbert videotaped many of his victims, and that the worst videos show him spanking or caning them until they were bruised and blistered.

Court documents said Gilbert groomed boys by offering them flying lessons, money and alcohol.

Once he got the children to his house, he would get them drunk, tie them down and beat them, all with a camera rolling, detectives said.

"He had rooms specifically designated for this," Pierce County sheriff spokesman Ed Troyer said after Gilbert's arrest in 2007. "He was an intelligent man. He was a wealthy man. He put all of those things together, and he was able to do what he needed to do to get what he wanted."

Investigators said the video showed little boys crying out during the especially malicious attacks. The beatings often left welts, bruises and cuts on young the victims, detectives said.

Many of the charges resulted from more than 400 hours of video seized from Gilbert's home after his arrest in 2007.

Prosecutors said Gilbert's property, cars, helicopter, float plane, boat and other assets will be sold, and the proceeds will go into a fund to benefit the victims.