• In surprise move, millionaire pilot pleads guilty to child molestation


    TACOMA, Wash. - A man who was at the time of his arrest a millionaire pilot pleaded guilty to numerous counts of child molestation Tuesday.


    Weldon Marc Gilbert, 52, was arrested in Atlanta in 2007 after an investigation revealed he had sexually assaulted and tortured dozens of boys in a "sex dungeon" in his Lake Tapps home, Pierce County prosecutors said.   Prosecutors said Gilbert lured the boys with money, alcohol, homework help and flying lessons.  He then made videos of himself sexually assaulting the victims, police said.


    Gilbert pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in federal court and was planning to do the same in Pierce County but changed his mind, and acting as his own attorney, mounted a defense.


    Jury selection in Gilbert’s case was to begin Tuesday when in a surprise move, he entered a guilty plea to 14 counts of child molestation.


    Gilbert was sentenced to 25 years in the federal case and nearly 10 more years in the Pierce County case. 


    The sentences are to be served consecutively.

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