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Loophole Allows Inmate to View Child Porn in Jail

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 14, 2011 6:51 AM

How is it that the legal system is allowing Weldon Marc Gilbert, an accused child rapist and child molester, to view child porn in jail?

Gilbert, currently held in a jail in Washington, stands accused of multiple counts of child rape and child sex crimes, reports the AP.

Gilbert was a jet pilot prior to his arrest in 2007. He allegedly tempted more than a dozen boys to his house with promises of flying lessons, money and booze, reports the AP. He then molested them - and videotaped his crimes.

Police found more than 28 hours of child porn videos at Gilbert's house, totaling more than 100 DVDs. The video include footage of the boys Gilbert stands accused of molesting and raping.

Gilbert pled guilty in federal court to producing child pornography in 2009, reports the AP. He received a 25-year sentence for the federal crimes. Gilbert also agreed to plead guilty to charges of sex crimes in state court, the AP reports. Gilbert later withdrew his guilty plea after a judge said his sentence could a life sentence.

Now, Gilbert is representing himself, and acting as his own attorney. As a result, he must be given the chance to review all of the evidence in his case - including the DVDs with child pornography, the AP reports.

Gilbert is reviewing his "evidence" while incarcerated. He views the DVDs with an investigator in the same room, and is visible to jail guards at all times, the AP reports.

Unfortunately, Gilbert's ability to view the "evidence" is laid out in law. In order to avoid a mistrial that would further delay the case, the state should not withhold evidence that they intend to use at trial from Gilbert's attorney - which is Gilbert himself.

Weldon Marc Gilbert's viewing of child porn in jail has likely earned the disgust of the victims, the victims' families, and the general public. But, maybe the alternative - a mistrial - is worse.

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