A former Pine Ridge pediatrician accused of child sex crimes is asking the court to throw out evidence seized from his home because police allegedly used a defective search warrant.
In February, law enforcement officers seized about 30 items from the Spearfish home of 68-year-old Stanley Patrick Weber, charged in federal court with aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse and sexual abuse of a minor.
Prosecutors say Weber, who at one point became acting clinical director of the Indian Health Service hospital on Pine Ridge, molested Native American children between 1998 and 2011.
Weber’s charging document lists four victims, including a child who allegedly had been assaulted while being treated for the flu. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Weber was arrested the same day his home was searched, Feb. 28, then released on bond the next day. He is now challenging the validity of the police search warrant, stating in a June 19 court filing that the document didn’t specify the items to be seized from his home.
Weber said also that police took travel documents related to the crime of international sex travel, though the crime wasn’t noted on the warrant; just on the attached affidavit.
According to court records, the items taken from Weber included an iPhone, a MacBook Air, eight U.S. passports, thumb drives and pages of passwords.
In a written response July 31, prosecutors said the warrant mentioned the affidavit, which laid out the items to be seized. They said the affidavit was also brought to the actual search.
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Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric Kelderman and Sarah Collins asked the court to deny Weber’s request, arguing that police acted in good faith despite errors in drafting the warrant.
At a Rapid City hearing Wednesday, the law enforcement officer who applied for the search warrant acknowledged that the document was missing critical information.
Special Agent Curt Muller, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, testified that he followed the same procedure used in applying for previous search warrants.
He spent weeks putting together the affidavit, which ran more than 30 pages, Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann was told. Wollmann was the same judge who signed the Weber search warrant.
“Ultimately, it was the U.S. Attorney’s Office that said the warrant itself was acceptable,” said defense attorney Harvey Steinberg, Weber's lawyer from Denver. Beside him sat Weber, in a camel-colored jacket, and two of Weber’s other lawyers.
The prosecutors, in their written response, had said information missing on the warrant “is more akin to a typographical error than it is to a constitutional violation ... there was no flagrancy police misconduct, which the Court must consider in its determination."
Judge Wollmann will issue a ruling on the matter, after about nine weeks, once the lawyers have submitted briefs.
Weber’s trial date is pending. His most serious charges, five counts of aggravated sexual abuse, carry a sentence of 30 years to life in prison for each count.