A 48-year-old assistant pastor, who West Melbourne detectives said used social media to secretly arrange a sexual encounter with a 17-year-old boy, was arrested after the teen turned to police to report concerns about their conversations.
Wesley Ray Weaver, of West Melbourne, was charged with sexual battery after West Melbourne police were contacted by the boy to report what investigators describe as ‘disturbing comments’ about other potential victims. Detectives began investigating and charged Weaver, who volunteers at the First Christian Church of Vero Beach, late Monday with the second-degree felony. Calls from FLORIDA TODAY to the church were not returned.
"This is a child, and we have laws in place that protect our most (vulnerable),” said Capt. Richard Cordeau of the West Melbourne Police Department. "He crossed the line and honestly, the details of the case are quite disturbing. Mr. Weaver made comments to the victim that indicated his desire for younger sexual victims," Cordeau said.
The police agency is also asking anyone under the age of 18 who may have had similar encounters or interaction with Weaver to contact detectives.
Weaver, also a chaplain with a Titusville hospice care facility, was held on a $15,000 bond at the Brevard County Jail Complex.
Wesley could face up to 15 years in state prison if convicted on the charge. Florida law forbids anyone older than 24 from having sexual contact with anyone 16 or 17, Cordeau said.
Police said it was unknown if there were other victims. Police in Vero Beach and Titusville – where Weaver also worked -- were also contacted and told about Weaver’s arrest.
West Melbourne detectives determined that Weaver used the popular social networking app Grindr to seek out contact with a date. The app is typically used by gay and bisexual men for dating, police report.
The teen responded and went to Weaver’s home in West Melbourne where the two had consensual sexual contact on Sept. 11, police report. The teen contacted police after having a conversation with Weaver. The teen then participated in a phone call taped by police. "He was cooperative and he agreed to speak with detectives. He also confessed to the crimes he's charged with," Cordeau said.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call police at 321-723-9673.