An Omaha man who claimed he used a syringe to impregnate a 13-year-old girl got a heavy dose of justice Wednesday.
Douglas County District Judge Shelly Stratman sentenced Brandon Weathers, 39, to 100 to 160 years in prison for two counts of sexual assault of a child. With mandatory terms for child sex crimes, Weathers won’t be eligible for parole for 65 years and, absent parole, can’t be released for 95 years.
Weathers represented himself at trial, telling jurors he provided the girl with a syringe full of his semen because the 13-year-old girl wanted to get pregnant.
“I’ve heard a lot of things, working in this building over the years,” said Stratman, a former prosecutor. “And that (syringe story), sir, is one of the most ridiculous.
“You are a menace. You are a threat to society. You’re one of the worst I’ve seen.”
The girl, now 15, testified in December that Weathers was the first father figure in her life. As her foster father, he showered her with attention — and quickly went from grooming to groping to raping the girl.
Within two months of being placed at Weathers’ house, the girl went to a summer camp, where she told her younger sister she wasn’t a virgin anymore. She told a brother that she had sex with “Mr. Brandon.”
A camp counselor alerted state Health and Human Services officials, who quickly removed her and her sister from Weathers’ home.
That didn’t stop the abuse. For four months after her removal, Weathers continually supplied the girl with pay-as-you-go cell phones. Weathers sexually assaulted the girl several times, including at his workplace and in his car.
Even as the girl had a miscarriage, Weathers declared his innocence, saying he only granted her wish to become pregnant, via syringe.
Wednesday, Weathers continued his defiance. He informed a prosecutor he would be filing a lawsuit against the state. He refused to sign a form requiring him to register as a sex offender.
He then read a statement that he said he is going to broadcast to the world via various media outlets. Saying he is “tired of the injustices,” Weathers alleged that authorities deleted several text messages that would have “exonerated me.”
Text messages didn’t matter in this case, said prosecutor Brenda Beadle, the chief deputy Douglas County attorney.
The fetus did.
Fetal tissue — the girl had a miscarriage in October 2014 — showed that Weathers was the father.
He was 38 at the time. The girl was 13. Under Nebraska law, it is illegal for anyone 19 or over to have sex with anyone 15 and under.
Nebraska officials placed the girl with Weathers despite two prison stints he served for theft and burglary. HHS officials said state policy allows felons to be foster parents, as long as their felonies don’t involve murder, child abuse or sex offenses.
As a foster father, Weathers was the first adult man to show the girl any kind of attention.
In fact, Beadle said, the girl believed she was in a supportive home with a mother and father for the first time in her life.
Then Weathers devastated the girl with his sexual deviance, Beadle said.
“He violated this young, vulnerable girl in every way possible,” Beadle said. “He caused her to be moved from foster care to foster care to foster care, which only exacerbated her trust issues and trauma.
“Brandon Weathers would stop at nothing ... until finally, his arrogance and stupidity got him caught.”
Weathers’ wife, LaQuela, filed for divorce after the allegations came out — although that divorce has yet to be finalized.
Prosecutors dropped a case involving a second teen girl.
The girl, meanwhile, is an energetic 15-year-old with a bubbly personality.
Still, the trauma isn’t far from the surface. As Weathers continued to track her, HHS officials tried to stay ahead of him. In the last half of 2014, she bounced to about 10 different foster homes, Beadle said.
Then she had to sit in court and answer questions from the man who preyed on her.
As Beadle rattled off the toll Wednesday, the girl stared blankly ahead, nodding her head quietly. She was flanked by the HHS case workers who desperately tried to keep her from Weathers’ continued stalking.
“What he caused this victim and continues to cause her is not even comprehensible,” Beadle said. “Fortunately, she is a very smart, strong, loving girl with a wonderful network of support.”
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