3:27 PM PDT, July 27, 2022
A retired police officer shot by his wife last week now faces more than a dozen criminal charges alleging he sexually abused children at his wife’s day care center, authorities said.
Shanteari Weems shot her husband Thursday in a luxury hotel in Washington, D.C., as the couple argued over accusations he had molested children in her care, police said.
James Weems Jr., 57, was charged Tuesday with “sexually abusing at least three children while working at a day care facility,” Baltimore County Police said Tuesday.
He is currently hospitalized in Washington, D.C. for his gunshot wound and is awaiting extradition to Maryland, police said.
Weems now faces charges including assault, sexual abuse of a minor and displaying obscene material to a minor.
Shanteari Weems was arrested Thursday after a standoff with police at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, authorities said. She acknowledged shooting her husband, telling an officer at the hotel room’s door, “F**k him, he’s a child molester,” according to authorities.
She has been charged with assault with intent to kill and assault with a dangerous weapon, police said. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.
Her lawyer Joseph Fay told the Baltimore Sun Tuesday that he and his co-counsel, Tony Garcia, are “looking forward to providing Ms. Weems with a vigorous defense.”
Garcia said he wants the court to consider that has “never harmed a person in her life,” and has “dedicated herself to other people’s children so that they can make a living.”
The couple had met at the hotel to discuss the child abuse allegations, Garcia. The situation escalated into an argument and the woman fired her gun after her husband stood up and started to “go towards” her, the attorney said.
“I think that this woman here was torn apart by guilt — that this was her very own husband — and by fear, when he attacked her,” Garcia said. “She’s just in this swamp of fear and guilt at this moment. It was very clear that she did not want him to molest another child. Not on her watch.”
Her husband retired from the Baltimore Police Department in 2005, authorities said.
Baltimore County Police said detectives began investigating James Weems “earlier this month” after receiving reports of sexual abuse allegations. The Lil Kidz Kastle has been closed pending the investigation, authorities said.