A former Indian Health Service pediatrician convicted of sexually abusing two Blackfeet Indian boys is still eligible to receive millions in retirement benefits, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Convicted pedophile Stanley Patrick Weber retired with honors from IHS and remains eligible for a full pension, the Journal reported Thursday. The report prompted Republican Sens. Steve Daines, of Montana, and John Hoeven, of North Dakota, to ask the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to deny Weber benefits by whatever means necessary.
Weber was convicted in January of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and two counts of attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all felonies stemming from his 1993 to 1995 employment as an Indian Health Service pediatrician on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Working in Browning, the doctor engaged in sex with a boy younger than 12 and attempted to have sex with another boy younger than 16, according to prosecutors.
He was sentenced to prison for 18 years, four months and fined $200,000 by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris. The case has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
In South Dakota, Weber is scheduled for a September trial on 10 charges of sexual encounters with children at Pine Ridge between 1998 and 2011, the year he retired. Weber is jailed in Rapid City, South Dakota.
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Weber’s time with the IHS is part of a PBS Documentary “Predator on the Reservation” by the Wall Street Journal and Frontline.
“We are appalled by Mr. Weber’s actions and the manner in which IHS repeatedly turned a blind eye to the reported suspicions raised by his behavior,” Daines and Hoeven wrote to the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We understand you and Admiral Weahkee are looking into this matter and we appreciate your current efforts to clean up the egregious systemic breakdown that enabled Mr. Weber to abuse children for decades. While investigations are ongoing and justice is being served, we urge you to take whatever action necessary, within your authority, to prevent Mr. Weber from receiving his pension.”
Michael Weahkee is deputy director of the Indian Health Service. In February, Indian Health Service officials briefed members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee about Weber. Both Montana Sens. Daines and Jon Tester, a Democrat, serve on the committee. Daines and Tester told Lee Montana Newspapers last month that the Senate Indians Affairs Committee wants to make sure that nothing like Weber’s actions happen again in IHS.
Monday, the Trump administration announced that it was creating a task force to investigate how Weber managed to sexually assault children within IHS.