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Los Angeles: A 47-year-old self-employed talent agent for children has been arrested and charged with eight felony counts of child molestation.
On Tuesday, November 29, 2011, Martin Weiss was arrested at his home in Santa Monica by Los Angeles Police Department detectives who also executed a search warrant at his residence.
Weiss, a self-employed talent agent specializing in child actors, has 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 an 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 between 2005 and 2008. The victim had been 11-15 years old at the time. 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.
Deputy District Attorney Rhonda Brody filed two counts of lewd acts with a child, one count of forced lewd acts with a child, two counts of continuous lewd acts with a child, and three counts of sodomy. If convicted on all counts, Weiss could be sentenced to as many as 80 years in prison. Weiss remains in custody on $800,000 bail. His next court date is December 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.