Two additional victims have been identified in the criminal case against the former Baltimore Police officer accused of sexually abusing children at his wife’s Owings Mills day care, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
James S. Weems Jr. is charged with 21 counts connected to two victims. The additional two victims, for whom Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney Zarena Sita said charges are pending, would bring the total to four.
Judge Robert E. Cahill Jr. ordered Weems held without bond Wednesday, calling him a risk to public safety and a risk to children, even if he were released on home detention.
Cahill also ordered Weems to have no contact with children.
Sita said after the hearing that she wasn’t aware of the ages of the two additional victims. The current criminal charges are related to Weems’ alleged conduct with a 10-year-old child and a 12-year-old child, both of whom attended Lil Kidz Kastle, the day care owned by his wife.
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The current criminal charges include sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree rape, second-degree assault and other sex offenses, according to a grand jury indictment.
Weems worked at the day care for four years, and as a bus driver for two, Sita said. During that time, he overlapped with an estimated 93 students, all of whom are being interviewed. Sita said Wednesday she didn’t know how far authorities had gotten in those interviews.
Weems, who retired from the Baltimore Police in 2005, was represented by a public defender on Wednesday, who argued he should be released on home detention in part due to his health.
The former police officer was shot in July; his wife, Shanteari Weems, faces criminal charges in connection with the shooting, which occurred in a Washington hotel. She told police she shot her husband because she believed he’d molested children at her day care.
The public defender said James Weems wasn’t getting any treatment or physical therapy, and said he was not a flight risk before trial. Following the hearing, the public defender, who refused to give his name, declined to comment.
Sita argued, however, Weems should not be released before trial because he is accused of “grooming” behavior with two current victims. And, she said, additional charges are expected.
As of Wednesday morning, Weems’ next court date was not listed on a courts website.