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Long IslandCrime

Suffolk correction officer indicted in second child sex abuse case, DA says

In the original case, authorities said, Robert Weis befriended a 7-year-old boy in 1996 and sexually abused him in Suffolk until he was 16.

Robert Weis, 55, of Hampton Bays, a Suffolk

Robert Weis, 55, of Hampton Bays, a Suffolk correction officer, is walked out of Southhampton Town police headquarters in Hampton Bays on April 5, the date he was initially arraigned. Photo Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

A Suffolk County correction officer charged earlier this month with sexually abusing a boy for about nine years has been indicted in connection with abusing a second boy on Long Island, prosecutors said.

The second alleged victim came forward after hearing news reports about Robert Weis' initial arrest, according to the Suffolk County district attorney's office. Authorities are investigating if there are additional victims and continue to urge anyone who believes they or others were harmed by Weis to call police.

“This is the sort of defendant we wish we never had to deal with,” Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini said in a news release. “The crimes that he is alleged to have committed undoubtedly destroyed lives. We will continue to investigate his conduct and do everything in our power to bring justice to those victims.”

Weis, 55, of Hampton Bays, is now charged with two counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, two counts of first-degree sodomy, three counts of criminal possession of a firearm and one count of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He was initially arraigned on April 5 after his arrest and again Wednesday on the indictment, which contained information about the second victim.

If convicted, Weis faces a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison, according to the district attorney's office. Authorities have said other cases they are investigating may be beyond the statute of limitations to prosecute.

State Supreme Court Justice Karen Wilutis in Riverhead set his bail at $5 million cash or $15 million bond, officials said. 

Weis’ Islandia-based attorney, Keith O’Halloran, said Wednesday that his office will investigate the claims independently.

“We are asserting his innocence,” O'Halloran said. “These are allegations from close to 20 years ago.”

In the original case, authorities said, Weis befriended a 7-year-old boy in 1996 and sexually abused him in Suffolk until he was 16. The victim, now 29, reported the alleged abuse to Southampton Town police last month, prompting the investigation.

In the new case, Weis allegedly abused a boy, who was under the age of 13 at the time, between February 2001 and August 2002 in Suffolk.

Weis is a military veteran who served in Iraq and has been an employee of the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office since 1995. He has been suspended without pay and the sheriff's office said it is seeking to terminate his employment.

He is also a foster and adoptive parent. Neither alleged victim was one of his foster or adopted children, officials said. He has been a foster parent for 15 years and adopted five boys, who now are between 19 and 26. 

Weis also has a pending case in South Carolina, where he was arrested in 2016 on charges that he sexually abused a 13-year-old male relative, officials said. He is out on $100,000 bond in that case, after which the Suffolk sheriff's office suspended him for the maximum 30 days without pay. His service weapon was taken from him and he was reassigned to the quartermaster unit at the Yaphank jail so he would not have contact with inmates.

Weis is also alleged to have stolen bulletproof vests and EMT equipment from the sheriff's office, prosecutors said.

A search warrant at his home on April 4 found three illegal handguns, 32 rifles and more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition.

Weis is due to return to court on April 30. 

Those who believe they or others may have been abused by Weis are asked to contact the Southampton Town Police Department at 631-702-2230.

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