SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah teacher accused of abusing children and teenagers for more than three decades appeared in court Wednesday.
Charles Weber, 65, was the former principal of the award-winning Soldier Hollow Charter School in Midway. He was fired from that position in August, though the Soldier Hollow Board of Directors indicated no misconduct. Authorities arrested Weber in Southern Utah on Saturday, where he ran after a warrant was put out for his arrest on six counts of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony.
The investigation began earlier this fall when a man in his late-40's told officials he had been molested when he was 11-years-old by Weber, who was his teacher at the time.
Federal investigators went to Weber's home in South Jordan home, where he admitted to molesting several young boys as a teacher. The most recent case involved a 15-year-old boy from earlier this year and investigators have filed charges in the 4th District Court in that case.
He was transported from St. George to Wasatch County for his court hearing Wednesday morning for his first appearance since prosecutors filed charges against him. Weber was escorted into the courtroom, wearing a grey and white striped jumpsuit. He didn't say a word.
But his initial appearance was continued because the judge had concerns about the case.
One of Charles Weber's victims sat in the courtroom and faced his accused abuser for a few short minutes.
The hearing was brief. Fourth District Court Judge Derek Pullan reassigned the case to another judge, saying he had questions about his impartiality because of his contacts in the community.
The Wasatch County Attorney says, if convicted, Weber could go to prison for a long time. They're working with federal authorities on the case. They say, there could be more victims.
"These cases are always tragic, I think, the most tragic for the victims and their families who have to deal with these things," said Wasatch County Attorney Scott Sweat. "And of course, that's why we want to vigorously prosecute and do the best we can to protect and bring those people to justice."
A date for Weber's initial hearing wasn't set Wednesday. Because he's in custody, the judge said a date would be set quickly.