Public Safety

Former Iowa Hillel director accused of sexually abusing boy

Charge carries prison time of up to 25 years

David Weltman is shown in July 2016 when he became executive director of Iowa Hillel in Iowa City. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
David Weltman is shown in July 2016 when he became executive director of Iowa Hillel in Iowa City. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — The former director of Iowa Hillel is accused of sexually abusing a young boy earlier this year.

David M. Weltman, 29, now of Skokie, Ill., faces one count of second-degree sexual abuse, accused of fondling a boy, according to an Iowa City police criminal complaint.

Police said sometime between Feb. 1 and March 31, Weltman was providing Hebrew lessons to the victim at the Hillel House, 122 E. Market St. The boy told police that during a lesson, Weltman picked him up, carried him into another room and fondled him.

Police said they interviewed a former acquaintance of Weltman’s as part of the investigation. The former acquaintance told police Weltman admitted to being sexually attracted to 7- to 12-year-old boys.

“The ex-acquaintance said (Weltman) told them he has not done anything sexually with a child but had urges and a desire to,” the complaint said.

Weltman also told the person he watched foreign films featuring nude children for his sexual gratification, the complaint stated.

Nestled on the edge of campus, Iowa Hillel works with UI students and Jewish student organizations but is not a part of the university. Weltman met annually with UI administrators as part of the Campus Ministries leadership group, UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck said.

“Although the case does not involve university students or staff, we provide support for any member of our campus community who may wish to speak with someone,” Beck said.

Weltman joined Iowa Hillel in July 2016.

Matthew Berger, vice president of communications for Hillel International, said Weltman was placed on administrative leave when the organization learned about the allegations and is no longer employed by Iowa Hillel.

“It pains us greatly to hear of these allegations, as the safety of our students and community members is Hillel’s top priority,” Berger said. “Hillel is here to support the Jewish community at the University of Iowa during this difficult time, and we urge any student who needs support to reach out to us or directly to University Counseling Services.”

Sue Weinberg, president of the Agudas Achim congregation, said Weltman worked as a Sunday school teacher for the congregation, from around 2014 through 2016, when he was a student at UI. .

“There have been no reports of any misconduct while he was an employee,” Weinberg said Friday.

Iowa City Police Sgt. Derek Frank said no other victims are known. i

“Families who were identified during this investigation as potentially having contact with Weltman were offered appointments at the Child Protection Center, if they wished,” Frank said.

Second-degree sexual abuse is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Johnson County Jail records show Weltman was booked at the jail around 12:32 p.m. Thursday.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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