Bonney Lake Pilot Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Production of Child Pornography, Sex Traveling, and Obstruction Longest Sentence Possible Under Terms of the Plea Agreement
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 16, 2009|
WELDON MARC GILBERT, 49, of Bonney Lake, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 25 years in prison and lifetime supervised release for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Production of Child Pornography, Transportation of a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity and Obstruction of Justice. At sentencing, U. S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said, “the extent of human suffering in this case cannot be overstated. . .There are so many victims . . .and the suffering and pain does not end with them; whole families and communities were damaged.”
According to documents filed in the case, GILBERT’s activities first came to light in October 2007, when two brothers reported long term sexual abuse by GILBERT to the FBI. A court authorized search of GILBERT’s Bonney Lake home revealed a studio type set-up with cameras, and numerous videos showing minor boys being sexually molested by GILBERT. In the plea agreement GILBERT admits that the 31 videos he produced show 17 different victims, some as young as 10 years old. GILBERT pleaded guilty to two counts of Transportation of a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity related to trips to Canada in 2005, and 2007. On these trips GILBERT produced child pornography. Finally, the obstruction of justice charges related to his actions when he learned he was under police investigation in 2007, and after he was charged federally and was in custody in 2008. By telephone in 2007, and by letter in 2008, GILBERT tried to get one of his victims to lie about the abuse.
In their sentencing memo, prosecutors urged Judge Settle to sentence GILBERT to 25 years in prison. “For the better part of two decades, he serially molested child after child, creating hundreds of pornographic videotapes memorializing the abuse. He has admitted to making dozens of child pornography videos, involving 17 different victims, some as young as 10, 12, 13, and 14 years of age. Investigators found hundreds of individual scenes of child pornography that Gilbert created for a singular reason—to satisfy his sadistic sexual urges,” Assistant United States Attorney Roger Rogoff wrote in his sentencing memo.
Three victims addressed the court. One victim told Judge Settle GILBERT had created a “web of horror that terrorizes me until this day.” The victim told the Judge he is “scarred for life.”
As part of the plea agreement, GILBERT forfeits to the government property and high end goods he used to lure his victims including his Lake Tapps property, two cars, a helicopter, a float plane, and a boat. GILBERT also forfeits camera and computer equipment. The forfeited items will be sold and the proceeds will be placed in a fund for the benefit of the victims. GILBERT waived his right to appeal the sentence imposed by the court.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger Rogoff and Mike Dion.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.