by WorldTribune Staff, October 12, 2021
A pedophile who was preying on Native American boys for two decades was protected and even promoted by the U.S. government agency he worked for after his abuses came to light, a report said.
Stanley Patrick Weber, a pediatrician working for the U.S. Indian Health Service (IHS), was accused of sexually abusing young boys in 2009. But managers within the agency went to great lengths to protect Weber and even assigned a whistleblower in the case to a remote outpost, the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 11.
Paul McSherry, a senior personnel supervisor at IHS, defended Weber and attempted to discredit the whistleblower, according to an internal report obtained by the Journal.
The whistelblower, pediatrician Mark Butterbrodt, was ultimately transferred to an agency hospital on the Canadian border and quit a year later.
Meanwhile, Weber was promoted and stayed with the IHS until he resigned in 2016. Weber in 2020 was convicted of sexually abusing Native American boys under his care at IHS facilities for more than 20 years.
Now, the IHS is protecting the managers who protected Weber, the Journal report said.
“Despite pledges to hold its own accountable for their failures to stop Weber sooner, the IHS is still fighting to keep the names of officials like Mr. McSherry secret, citing privacy concerns,” the report noted. “The version of the report it released last week redacts the names of agency managers and leaders in hundreds of instances, including current and former officials at the IHS and its overseer, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who the report shows did little or nothing when they were warned about Weber’s conduct.”
The IHS argued that “due to elapsed time, individual examples and recollections may lack broader details, interpretation, or context.”
The redacted names and titles in the report released by IHS include a Denver-based HHS attorney who advised the agency on legal affairs and learned about the abuse allegations against Weber in March 2009, the Journal noted. The current CEO of one of the IHS’s North Dakota hospitals was told of the allegations a few months later. The top official now overseeing IHS’s Oklahoma City region knew of Weber’s alleged abuse as early as June 2010, according to the report and interviews.
None of them reported the abuse allegations to law enforcement, as required by law, the report notes.
Instead, Weber was promoted. He was named medical director of the IHS hospital in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, “where he supervised potential witnesses to his crimes and maintained access to teenage patients even after agency officials were notified he was under federal investigation for sex crimes in 2015,” the Journal noted.
In 2020, Weber was sentenced to five life prison terms for a series of crimes that included raping a drugged teenager at his IHS housing unit and penetrating an 8-year-old boy in an IHS exam room.