Santa Monica Children's Talent Manager Charged With Counts Of Child Sex Abuse

Friday, 2 Dec 2011, 2:50:00 AM

Brenton Garen

A 47-year-old Santa Monica resident self-employed as a talent agent specializing in child actors, was charged Thursday with multiple felony counts of child sex abuse, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Deputy District Attorney Ronda Brody, of the Van Nuys Branch Office, said Martin Weiss is charged with three counts of sodomy of a person under 16; two counts each of lewd act upon a child and continuous sexual abuse; and one count of forcible lewd act upon a child.

The charges involve one victim, an aspiring singer, who allegedly was abused between March 1, 2005, and June 21, 2008. The abuse began when the victim was 11 years old and concluded when the boy was 14, the prosecutor said.

If convicted as charged, Weiss faces a maximum sentence of 48 years in state prison.

The case is being investigated by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, Topanga Community Police Station.

Weiss was arrested at his home in Santa Monica on Nov. 29 by Los Angeles Police Department detectives who also executed a search warrant at his residence.

Weiss had been operating his business out of his home in Santa Monica for the past 14 years. Prior to his talent agency business, Weiss earned a living renting himself out as a costumed character for children's parties with costumes ranging from cartoon characters to the Easter Bunny.

About a week ago the 18-year-old man who was a prior client of Weiss' came forward with allegations that Weiss had repeatedly molested him over a three-year period. The crimes allegedly occurred at a residence in Woodland Hills as well as at Weiss' residence in Santa Monica.

The victim had kept the molestation a secret until now because he feared the disclosure would damage his reputation in the industry and traumatize his family. He finally came forward out of concern Weiss may be victimizing others. Investigators share the victim's concerns and are requesting anyone else who may have been assaulted by Weiss to come forward.

Weiss remains in custody on $800,000 bail. His next court date is Dec. 15, 2011, in Department 107 at Van Nuys Court.

Anyone with information regarding this matter is asked to call Topanga Area Detectives, Detective Avila at 818.756.3375. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1.877.LAPD.24.7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS (800.222.8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

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