Weimar under supervision at time of alleged child assault

Richard Mauer

Former halfway house king Bill Weimar, convicted in the Alaska corruption scandal, was still under the supervision of federal probation officials when he is alleged to have sexually battered a 6-year-old girl in Florida, according to charging documents made public Monday.

A detective with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said in the sworn statement that Weimar's illegal contact with the child occurred in August, four months before he was released -- ahead of schedule -- from the supervision of federal probation officials in Florida. His probation officer recommended early termination of supervised release because Weimar had complied with all conditions of his sentence in Anchorage on two public corruption felonies.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said officers continue to search for Weimar, 70. An arrest warrant was issued Jan. 24.

The dockmaster at the Sarasota harbor marina where Weimar keeps his cabin cruiser said Monday he hadn't seen Weimar for weeks. The boat was still tied up in Weimar's rental slip, said Joe Tattel of Marina Jack.

Weimar had told a sheriff's deputy he lived on the boat, the Renewal, though Tattel said Marina Jack forbids "live-aboards."

The alleged sexual battery occurred in Sarasota County, on Florida's west coast. Weimar was supposed to be looking after the girl while her mother went to the airport, according to the sworn statement of Sheriff's Detective C. Duff.

The mother called Florida child protection services recently when she overheard her daughter enacting sexual conduct with naked Barbie and Ken dolls, Duff wrote. The girl told a child protection services investigator that when she was with Weimar, he had taken off his clothes and asked her to perform fellatio, which she did, the detective wrote.

"The defendant told her not to tell anyone," Duff wrote. The girl described Weimar as "mean."

The mother worked with the authorities to place a secretly recorded call to Weimar about the incident. Weimar "never denied the act occurred" but told the woman he couldn't "say anything about that," Duff wrote.

In January, Weimar voluntarily talked aboard his boat to Duff and acknowledged he had taken care of the girl that day, but denied sexually assaulting her, Duff said in her statement.

A message left by the Daily News on Weimar's cell phone was not returned.

The arrest warrant was issued not long after Weimar's conversation with Duff, said sheriff's spokeswoman Wendy Rose. When officers returned to the marina, he was gone, she said.

Rose said Sarasota authorities have been in touch with police in Alaska and are trying to learn whether there are other child victims.

Weimar once owned a chain of state-licensed halfway houses and drug testing facilities in Alaska and Washington state and became wealthy from government contracts. Before he went into the private corrections business, he was active in liberal Democratic politics in Juneau in the 1970s, then became close to powerful Republicans starting in the 1980s, including the late Rep. Ramona Barnes of Anchorage.

As part of that transformation, he helped finance the state Senate election campaign of Republican Jerry Ward in 2004 with a secret $20,000 contribution in violation of Alaska law. Four years later, Weimar pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and financial misconduct charges related to Ward's campaign and was sentenced to six months in prison and another six months of home confinement.

Ward, who lost the Republican primary, would have supported Weimar's efforts to build a large private prison in Alaska, the federal charges said.

By the time he pleaded guilty, Weimar had moved to a gated mountainside retreat overlooking Flathead Lake in Montana.

When Duff visited him aboard the Renewal, Weimar said he had moved to Florida in January 2010 "because of his advancing age," the detective wrote.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Weimar finished his period of home confinement July 2, 2009, and began two years of supervised release, similar to probation. At some point over the next year, his supervision was assumed by the U.S. Probation Office in Sarasota.

Late last year, his Sarasota probation officer, John Holderman, signed a brief report to U.S. District Judge John Sedwick in Anchorage that Weimar "has complied with the rules and regulations of supervised release and is no longer in need of supervision." Sedwick officially discharged Weimar on Dec. 3, six months early.

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