Law enforcement is expected to file additional charges against a former Baltimore Police officer who’s accused of sexually abusing two children at his wife’s day care in Owings Mills, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney Zarena Sita said during a bail review hearing for James Weems Jr., 57, of Randallstown, that police were in the process of interviewing 93 children who had been to Lil Kidz Kastle Daycare Center during the four years that he worked there. He’s charged with 21 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, rape, assault and related offenses in connection to two girls, 10 and 12.
“The state does believe this defendant is a public safety risk,” Sita said. “There are going to be additional charges.”
Following the hearing, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said, “We anticipate at the moment there’ll be additional charges involving two additional victims.” He noted that police were still conducting interviews.
The sexual abuse allegations first publicly surfaced after Weems’ wife, Shanteari, shot him on July 21 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington, D.C., and told investigators that her husband was a “child molester,” D.C. Metropolitan Police reported.
The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is representing Weems. He joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1996 and medically retired in 2005, though he stayed on as a contractor until 2008.
Benjamin Sutley, Weems’ attorney at the hearing, asked the judge to release his client to home detention.
Sutley said his client was “doing badly” and not receiving treatment such as physical therapy while incarcerated. Weems, he said, is fully cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in the case against his wife, who’s charged with assault with intent to kill and related offenses.
“He’s obviously not going to run,” Sutley said. “He can’t run.”
But Circuit Judge Robert E. Cahill Jr. disagreed, stating that he believed Weems was a flight a risk and generally posed a threat to the safety of children.
Weems is being held without bail in the Baltimore County Detention Center. It’s unclear when he’s expected back in court.
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