A retired Baltimore City officer was ordered held without bail on sex abuse charges in Baltimore County on Tuesday.
James Weems, 57, of Randallstown, is accused of sexually abusing at least three children at his wife’s daycare in Owings Mills. He is a Marine veteran who retired from the Baltimore Police Department in 2005.
Authorities suspect there are more victims and have begun interviewing 93 children who attended the facility.
Weems is charged with 13 counts, which police say are based on interviews with victims and forensic evidence. There are three counts of sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of second-degree assault, three counts of third-degree sex offense, and one count of fourth-degree sexual contact, as well as one charge of displaying obscene material to a minor.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren, who was present at the proceedings, said Weems shook his head repetitively as the charges against him were read aloud. He had trouble walking after his wife shot him and relied on a walker.
According to charging documents acquired by WJZ, the investigation began on July 3 when parents informed police that their 10-year-old daughter informed them “Mr. James” had shown her pornographic material on a daycare bus and inappropriately touched her at the facility’s play area.
On July 18, a search and seizure warrant was executed, and Weems’ cell phone was surrendered. According to the charging papers, a search of Weems’ browsing habits confirmed what the 10-year-old girl told officers.
On July 21, a 7-year-old boy who went to the daycare told the Department of Social Services, which was looking into Weems’ contact with other young kids, that he was inappropriately touched at the daycare. The suspect was narrowed down to Weems by investigators.
According to the documents, officers responded to a reported past sexual assault on July 23. According to the parents, their 12-year-old daughter told them that “Mr. James” touched her in a “very inappropriate way.” According to the charging papers, the girl told investigators in an interview that “Mr. James” also started asking her to take explicit images of herself, but she refused.
When a warrant for Weems’ arrest was issued last Monday, he was hospitalized. According to authorities, his wife, Shanteari, shot him multiple times in a D.C. hotel room during an argument about the accusations.
Shanteari Weems was ordered held without bond on Friday after a judge determined she was a threat to the community. In connection with her husband’s shooting, she faced various charges, including assault with intent to kill and possession of an unregistered firearm.
Police responding to a shooting at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel spoke to Shanteari Weems, who started telling them she gunned down her husband because he charged at her during an argument, according to court documents.
When police entered the hotel room, the daycare owner allegedly threatened to harm herself. However, she was arrested and her husband was taken to the hospital for treatment at some point.
According to court papers, two guns and a notebook detailing Shanteari Weems’ purported plans to challenge her husband were retrieved as proof as a part of the investigation into the shooting, along with an unofficial will.
James Weems Jr. denied bail in child sex abuse case at day care
Prosecutor Everett Bryant described James Weems as “manipulative” and accusing him of “abusing a position of trust.”
In court, he stated that authorities were still working to obtain passwords for additional electronic devices and home security camera footage in the case.