Convicted child sex offender faces new charges

May 6, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The man is described as a transient who spends time in the western suburbs. The Cook County Sherriff's Office is concerned there could be more young victims in the area.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says there is roughly a 20-year gap between when convicted sex offender Martin Weis finished his jail sentence and his recent arrest for allegedly molesting a little boy.

"We just want people to examine whether or not they had contact with this individual, and if concerns had been brought up," said Dart.

Those concerns would be about Martin Weis. He is the convicted sex offender arrested and charged last week with molesting a 10-year-old boy of a Chicagoland family who opened their home to him. The 45-year-old drifter was convicted of a similar act more than 20 years ago, which is why the Cook County Sheriff's Office is trying to determine if he may have more victims.

Weis remains held on $100,000 bond after he was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Sheriff's investigators arrested him last Thursday after they were called to a home in unincorporated Melrose Park.

Weis had befriended a family at the funeral of a friend -- they allowed him to live with them for three months. Authorities say, when a child in the home found pornographic images of children near Weis's belongings and on a computer, he told his parents, who kicked the man out. It was then the boy accused Weis of molesting him while he lived with the family, which investigators say he admitted to.

The sheriff's office says Martin Weis was convicted of criminal sexual abuse in 1988 and served 150 days in jail, followed by probation, but because his conviction came before Illinois' sex offender registry was created in 1994, he was not listed as a sex offender.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says Weis worked odd jobs, including as a seasonal carnival worker, as he moved from place to place staying with anyone for as long as they would allow.

Since his arrest, investigators say they have already been contacted by a parent concerned about Weis's contact with children.

"Our concern is to make sure if there are other folks who have had contact and had concerns, that they reach out to us and let us know that," said Dart.

Sheriff Dart says, although the suspect has been cooperative, Martin Weis has not talked about any other kind of sexual contact he may have had with children. Dart asks anyone with concerns about Weis to contact his investigators.

Weis is scheduled to appear in court again this month.

State Senator Iris Martinez sponsored a retroactive sex offender registry bill that already passed the senate and was just approved by the house Thursday. It would require sex offenders not previously required to register to become part of the registry.

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