A federal judge on Monday sentenced Stanley Weber, 71, to five life terms for the “aggravated sexual abuse” of Oglala Sioux boys, some younger than 12, while he was an Indian Health Services pediatrician on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons said in a news release that Weber sexually abused boys while working as an IHS pediatrician from 1999-2011. Evidence at his trial in September showed Weber sexually assaulted the boys during supposed examinations and also at his home where he would give them alcoholic drinks and drugs.
Weber’s case attracted national attention because it included allegations that many who worked around Weber in the federal IHS agency knew for years about accusations about his abuse of boys.
A Wall Street Journal reporter was in Rapid City on Monday, Feb. 10, to write about the sentence. The WSJ did a series with PBS Frontline about dysfunction in IHS that contributed to Weber getting away with sexual assaults of children for years.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken ordered Weber to serve the five life terms one after the other, and after he completes the 18-year sentence he received last yeari n federal court in Montana for sexually assaulting boys while working for IHS on the Blackfeet Nation. Viken also ordered Weber to pay $800,000 in fines.
Several of Weber’s victims testified at his trial last fall in Rapid City as did his victims in the Montana case.
The victims, from about the ages of eight to 15 or older, according to court documents, testified Weber would give them hundreds of dollars at times, after raping them. Some testified of blacking out from liquor and drugs, only to wake up in pain and bleeding from Weber’s assaults.
Weber threatened victims they would not see their parents again if they told anyone what he did.
“Our focus today is on the courage and dignity of Weber’s victims, the men who stared down their worst nightmare to come forward and testify about the horrible abuse by him they suffered when they were boys,” Parsons said in his news release. “Their bravery brought this predator to justice. They have our gratitude, and our hope is that the finality of this sentence will bring them some measure of peace.”
Curt Muller. an agent with the inspector general's office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees IHS, said: “As a pediatrician, Dr. Weber took advantage of children enrolled with the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Blackfeet Nation, and betrayed their innocent trust in him. The sentencing of Dr. Weber today sends a strong and powerful message that those who sexually abuse children will be held accountable and that we will continue to seek justice for all victims of our programs.”
Weber has been in the Pennington County Jail in Rapid City for the past year and was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service Monday to be placed in a federal prison.
Weber’s attorneys were Ryan Cox of Denver and Harvey Steinberg and Shane Pullman. Assistant U.S. attorneys Sarah Collins and Eric Kelderman prosecuted Weber.
“We will continue working with our state, federal and tribal law enforcement partners as we investigate and seek justice against those who would victimize our programs and their beneficiaries,” Muller said in the news release Monday.