(September 16, 2019 / JNS) The former Hillel director in Iowa City, Iowa, who also served students at the nearby University of Iowa, was arrested and charged last week with second-degree sexual abuse.
David Weltman, 29, originally of Skokie, Ill., was charged on Thursday with sexually abusing a child at the Hillel House in Iowa City sometime between Feb. 1 and March 31 while he was teaching a 9-year-old boy Hebrew, according to an Iowa City Police complaint.
The minor told police that Weltman picked him up and carried him to a room, where he was groped.
A former acquaintance told police that during their investigation, Weltman acknowledged to being sexually attracted to boys between 7 and 12 years old.
“The ex-acquaintance said [Weltman] told them he has not done anything sexually with a child but had urges and a desire to,” stated the complaint.
Weltman joined Iowa Hillel in July 2016 and was listed on social media as working there through this summer. He was placed on administrative leave following his arrest.
Bond has been set at $10,000. Weltman was ordered to surrender his passport.
“Hillel International and Iowa Hillel took immediate action when we were made aware of the allegations against Mr. Weltman by law enforcement, placing him on administrative leave,” said Hillel International vice president of communications Matthew Berger in a statement to local NBC affiliate KWWL. “He is no longer an employee of Iowa Hillel, and we are cooperating fully with the police investigation.”
Iowa Hillel released a similar statement on Facebook that encouraged those affected to seek counseling by the university.
The university released a statement, offering support to those affected, despite its relationship with Iowa Hillel.
“The Iowa Hillel is not a part of the university and its staff are not university employees; however, they work closely with university students and Jewish student organizations,” said Jeneane Beck, assistant vice president of external relations, in a statement to KWWL. “Although the case does not involve university students or staff, we will provide support for any member of our campus community who may wish to speak with someone.”
If convicted, Weltman could face up to 25 years in prison.
JNS works around the clock to provide high-quality, pro-Israel content. We’ve taken numerous steps to improve the quality, quantity, and distribution of our content for even greater impact. We intend to keep on growing, and to do that we need your help.
Please help us take pro-Israel journalism to the next level with a tax-deductible sponsorship, either on a one-time or recurring monthly basis. Jewish News Syndicate is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.