Weyand sentenced to 15 years

LISBON — A Salem man was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday on rape and gross sexual imposition charges.

Charles Weyand Jr., 43, was charged with engaging in sexual conduct with a child under the age of 13 between June 1, 2017 and Nov. 1, 2017.

Weyand pleaded guilty to the charges in January as part of a felony plea agreement.

The 15-year sentence was recommended by Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones and handed down by county Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam.

“The heinousness of the defendant’s conduct is represented in the separate acts … there was no regard for this victim. It is beyond my comprehension that someone could inflict this on a child and forever strip them of their innocence,” Jones said.

The victim’s mother also spoke during the sentencing, and said that the child is not sleeping, her grades at school are dropping, and when she does sleep she wakes up screaming about what happened to her.

“She does not trust anybody. She is terrified,” the woman said.

Just before the sentencing, Weyand asked that his public defender, Paul Conn, be removed from the case, as he believed Conn was talking about it to other people.

“Mr. Weyand has come to believe I have been telling everyone about this case … I have not done that,” Conn said.

Weyand told Washam that while serving time in the county jail other people told him that they heard Conn talking about it.

Jones said she believed Weyand was making “unfounded allegations” and did not believe Conn had done anything that warranted a violation.

Washam denied Weyand’s request that Conn be removed from the case and pointed out that the case is public record.

“Attorney Conn has aggressively and reasonably represented you,” he said.

As the case proceeded, Conn continued to represent Weyand. He did not argue for a lesser sentence, although he did say he hoped it would not be more than 15 years.

Conn said that during the investigation, the child’s mother initially did not believe the abuse was happening, which he said is common.

He also said that she told investigators her daughter was fine and that her grades were fine at that time.

He then turned his attention to Weyand’s mental health, and noted that he has “severe mental health issues” and suffered from longterm chronic alcoholism.

Conn said that Weyand was drinking heavily at the time the sexual offenses occurred, including consuming an entire 12- to 30-pack of beer every couple of days.

“This has been an ongoing problem,” he said.

He added that he wasn’t mentioning the alcohol use to “gain sympathy” for his client, but wanted them to be aware of his mental state during that time.

“I am sorry for the child’s current problems. I hope she gets the help she needs,” Conn said.

Weyand also apologized for his actions before he was sentenced.

“I do have an alcohol problem. I do have a depression problem … I would like to apologize to the victim,” Weyand said.

Washam said he felt the state’s recommendation of the 15-year sentence was fair. “There was a significant abuse of trust,” he said.

In addition to the prison term, Weyand will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender and will have to complete five-year post release control.

Weyand was charged with two counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition and had originally faced up to 32 years in prison if all the counts were to run consecutively.

He was credited with 97 days already served in the county jail, plus days awaiting transport to a state correctional facility since he has another case pending in the county.

Weyand is also charged with fourth-degree felony theft of a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer belonging to another person in November and December 2017 and selling the vehicle for scrap without consent.

A jury trial is scheduled for April 9 in county Common Pleas Court before Judge Megan Bickerton.