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Fairfax County, VA - Saint Matthews United Methodist Church Youth Leader, Thomas Weaver, Charged With Child Porn Possession and Sex Crimes

Fairfax County, VA - Saint Matthews United Methodist Church Youth Leader, Thomas Weaver, Charged With Child Porn Possession and Sex Crimes
Published: July 25, 2022
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on July 25, 2022

Virginia Youth Leader Arrested For Sexually Assaulting a Minor

ABC 8 has reported that multiple sex crime charges have been brought against a youth leader from Saint Matthews United Methodist Church located at 8617 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003. 

A search warrant was executed on July 20, 2022 at the home of 61-year-old Thomas Weaver. Detectives found “numerous images” of child pornography. This search followed the investigation after allegations were made that the youth leader sexually assaulted a minor on multiple occasions. Weaver was said to have coerced the victim to meet him in a secluded area allowing him to abuse them since 2020. 

Weaver joined Saint Matthews United Methodist Church in 2001 but is said to have worked in many churches. Due to this, detectives are concerned there may be additional victims. Weaver was detained and charged with five counts of indecent liberties of a minor by a custodian along with 20 counts of possession of child pornography. 

Hello. My name is Kevin Biniazan. I am licensed to practice law in Arizona and Virginia. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance, I’d be happy to speak with you. Call the number below. It would be my honor to help you. Consultations are free.
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Is the Church Liable For Sexual Abuse By a Youth Leader?

Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazan is a Virginia lawyer for sexual abuse at a church. Kevin has represented numerous victims of church sexual assault in civil lawsuits. He recently shared some information regarding the legal rights of victims sexually assaulted by a youth leader. 

"A church has a legal obligation to provide a certain level of security and protection to the clergy. Sometimes sexual predators gain access to their victims by gaining positions of power and trust, like leaders in churches. They use this position to their advantage in order to exploit vulnerable individuals under their care. Churches and other institutions have a responsibility to protect their members from these harmful leaders. In fact, a church may be held negligent if they fail to have proper safety measures in place or if assault crimes happen on its property. Background checks on all staff members, surveillance cameras, and even proper reporting policies are just a few examples of such safety measures." 

"Too often, sexual abuse occurs due to the negligence of the church. If previous complaints of sexual misconduct involving a youth leader are not taken seriously by the church, it can be considered negligent. If the religious establishment is deemed negligent, victims abused by a youth leader may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit. It is highly recommended that sex abuse victims and their families seek the advice of an experienced sexual assault lawyer to fully explore their legal rights."

Sources:

ABC 8

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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: [email protected] This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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