4th victim steps forward against accused SC molester

Another victim is coming forward claiming to have been molested by a foster care parent in Santa Cruz County.
February 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Another victim is coming forward, claiming to have been molested by a foster parent in Santa Cruz County. This is now the fourth case. The most recent victim is 14, another was 10.

The man they're accusing is 58-year-old Steven Weissman who is out on bail as sheriff's deputies continue to search for more victims.

This is a particularly disturbing case because of the potential number of victims over a span of 10 years or longer. Weissman is due to be in court on Wednesday.

Weissman sponsored foster children for 16 years at his Soquel home -- a four bedroom house with a swimming pool in an upscale neighborhood. We also noticed a surveillance camera mounted on his house. Homes on Benson Avenue are in the mid-$800,000 range.

He is currently out on $300,000 bail after sheriff's deputies added the fourth victim to his case. However, no one answered the door when we knocked on it.

Weissman was known to volunteer at local schools and with community youth organizations. He may have befriended young people by offering to show them snakes from a reptile store he once owned.

Investigators say the molestations may have occurred for 10 years or longer. The four victims who have stepped forward range in age today from 10 to the mid-20's. Their cooperation will be crucial to trying the case.

"Sometimes as an adult, you've had a lot of time to rationalize things and maybe forget about things. With juveniles, sometimes it more fresh in their memory, and they haven't had so much time to build mental scar tissue around it, and they're more willing to talk about it sometimes," said Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Kennedy.

Even then, it can be challenging to coax victims to step forward.

The sheriff's department says sometimes it's difficult to get the parents of victims to cooperate because they want to shield their children from the harsh realities of the case, but without the parents' and the child's cooperation, it's difficult to prosecute.

Sheriff's deputies are convinced there are more victims and encourages them to step forward to help build a case against Weissman.

With the most recent victim claiming he was molested only seven months ago, deputies are keeping a close eye on Weissman while he's out on bail.

"We've been in contact with Mr. Weissman pretty frequently, so we're doing our best to make sure that there's no new cases that will occur," said Kennedy.

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