'via Blog this'In 1984, Florida legislators passed a law that would allow religious homes to use corporal punishment if they could justify it with Scripture. Weierman scoffs at the idea that the harsh discipline doled out at his group home amounts to child abuse. He says he knows real abuse.
“My dad shot me when I was 13 years old, trying to kill me,” he said. “I was ripped out of bed many nights and beaten bloody, simply because I failed to close a gate or shut a door.”
He grew up hard in Ohio in the 1970s. By 17, he said, he had racked up criminal charges, including armed robbery. A judge told him to choose between the military or jail.
Around that time, he met William Brink, a preacher who had an Ohio group home and ministered to delinquent youths. Brink invited Weierman to live at the religious home.
He showed up with long hair and a leather vest.
“I was just 12 ways of bad.”
But Weierman quickly gained Brink’s trust and at 19, he married the preacher’s daughter. They worked together at the children’s home in the early 1980s, when Ohio regulators required the home to stop using corporal punishment.
In 1984, Florida legislators passed a law that would allow religious homes to use corporal punishment if they could justify it with Scripture.
Weierman’s father-in-law was among the first to apply. In 1985, he opened Victory Children’s Home, a home for abused and abandoned children in Fort Pierce.
His son-in-law would soon work there.
But not before leaving behind an allegation in Ohio.
In 1986, a 16-year-old girl told police she had had sex with Weierman more than 30 times. The girl passed a lie-detector test and had kept a calendar of the sexual encounters, the local police chief told the Akron Beacon Journal at the time.
Weierman denied the allegations.