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Originally published November 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 28, 2007 at 6:17 PM

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No bail for pilot suspected of child-sex crimes

A wealthy Lake Tapps pilot charged with numerous state and federal child-sex crimes will remain in jail until his trial. Weldon Marc Gilbert, a...

Seattle Times staff reporter

A wealthy Lake Tapps pilot charged with numerous state and federal child-sex crimes will remain in jail until his trial.

Weldon Marc Gilbert, a 47-year-old pilot for UPS, was arrested Nov. 1 on charges filed in Pierce County alleging he had molested two boys. He has since been charged in federal court with production of child pornography, transportation of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity and three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in the production of child pornography.

Today, U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Kelley Arnold rejected Gilbert's attempt to be released from jail and spend his pretrial months on electronic home monitoring, said Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. Gilbert's federal trial has been set for late January, but it will likely be pushed back into next summer, Langlie said.

Arnold called Gilbert a flight risk, Langlie said. He said the pilot, who authorities believe molested nearly 20 boys, is likely to deceive his family, who offered to house him if home monitoring was granted.

Federal prosecutors say Gilbert has "met, groomed and sexually abused" boys between the ages of 12 and 18 over the past 15 years, according to court documents. Two brothers, ages 18 and 13, were the first victims identified by authorities.

In 2005, Gilbert allegedly took a boy to Canada, where the molestation was videotaped, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Gilbert faces nine counts in Pierce County of rape, sexual molestation and sexual exploitation stemming from the abuse of the two boys. Federal court papers say authorities have seized sex tapes of the UPS pilot molesting nearly 20 boys.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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