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Lake Tapps pilot accused in sex case also faces lawsuits from alleged victims

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on July 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm with No Comments »
July 8, 2010 2:50 pm

Another alleged victim of Weldon Marc Gilbert has filed a lawsuit against the millionaire Lake Tapps-area pilot accused of sexually assaulting boys. He’s the 20th person – most of whom are alleged victims – to file civil actions against the 49-year-old Gilbert.

The victim, identified in the suit as “R.M.,” filed the complaint Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court. The complaint alleges R.M. was subjected to sexual assault, abuse and exploitation starting when he was 16 in 2000.

R.M. claims Gilbert would come to his home without invitation, appear before R.M. without clothes on and videotape him in embarrassing and humiliating situations. R.M. is asking for unspecified damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and “a decrease in his ability to enjoy life,” the claim states.

He’s the latest victim to file suit against Gilbert, who’s serving a 25-year federal sentence for sex crimes and faces more charges in Pierce County Superior Court. Nineteen others – 17 victims and the parents of two of the victims – have brought similar claims since 2007 and are asking for damages against Gilbert. The lawsuits have been filed in Pierce County Superior Court, Chelan County Superior Court and U.S. District Court.

Gilbert, a former UPS pilot, was arrested in October 2007 on child sex abuse crimes. Federal and state prosecutors have alleged Gilbert used money, the promise of flying lessons and other inducements to seduce more than a dozen boys and young men to take part in sex acts in his home, much of which he videotaped.

He pleaded guilty last year to 35 child sex crimes charges in federal court and was ordered to prison for 25 years. He initially pleaded guilty to similar charges in Pierce County Superior Court, then withdrew in a dispute over sentencing guidelines.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged Gilbert with 14 felonies, including multiple counts of child rape and child molestation and one count of possessing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit behavior. If convicted of one of the charges – first-degree child molestation – Gilbert could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Gilbert, who’s being held in lieu of $10 million bail, is representing himself. He’s scheduled to go to trial in September.

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