VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach Police Police Department (VBPD) identified the Ocean Lakes High School teacher arrested for a sex crime against a child.
Robert Weisenbeck, a social studies teacher, faces an "indecent liberties - custodial" charge for sexually abusing a child who was in his custody or supervision, according to the indictment filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.
The alleged incident happened in 2016. VBPD said it did not happen on school grounds.
According to VBPD, a police report was filed on November 5, 2021. After an investigation, Weisenbeck was arrested in New Jersey on December 22, 2021.
Virginia Beach City Public School said Weisenbeck is suspended without pay, pending the outcome of his criminal case. He hasn't taught since before winter break.
The indictment says the alleged sexual abuse occurred between June 1 and July 31, 2016.
Following winter break and nearly a full week of school, VBCPS and Ocean Lakes High School leaders emailed parents on Friday to inform them that a teacher had been arrested for "alleged misconduct."
The email did not identify Weisenbeck.
“At that point, it’s public information, so why are you not informing everybody of all the information there is," said Shannon Doyle, a parent of a student who was in one of Weisenbeck's classes.
On Saturday, Ocean Lakes High School principal Dr. Claire Le Blanc sent an email to the parents of the students who were in a class taught by Weisenbeck.
It did not identify Weisenbeck either, but said, in part: “We are working very hard to secure qualified staff as soon as possible to cover these classes and ensure learning continues."
Doyle said it was unnerving to not know which teacher was charged, at the time, and to be forced to use social media or parent chats to try and find out herself.
"It's a difficult and touchy subject to have to [discuss] with children and the more information parents have from the start, the easier it is to have that conversation with their child," Doyle said.
She said, while understanding the delay over winter break and the time it takes to gather facts and generate an appropriate response, school leaders should've emailed parents sooner.
“Charges were filed on December 20, it looks like, from the court documents," Doyle said. "Why did the school take so long to notify parents about it?"
The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office said Weisenbeck will be extradited back to Virginia.
Weisenbeck taught AP Human Geography and took students on international trips.
On Friday, Jan. 7, the school division said he was charged with “alleged misconduct.”
Here's the statement from VBPD:
On November 5, 2021 a police report was filed with the Virginia Beach Police Department alleging criminal behavior by Robert Weisenbeck, which was related to an incident that occurred in 2016. The reported incident was custodial in nature and did not occur on school grounds. VBPD immediately initiated an investigation. On December 20, 2021 detectives obtained a warrant for Mr. Weisenbeck for indecent liberties by a custodian. Weisenbeck was arrested, out of state, on December 22, 2021 and is awaiting extradition back to Virginia Beach.
You can read the initial Jan. 7 message from Principal Claire Le Blanc below:
Dear Ocean Lakes families—
You are receiving this correspondence because the Virginia Beach Police Department has charged an OLHS teacher for alleged misconduct. As a result, this teacher has been placed on leave and will not be back in the classroom until the case is resolved. Please be assured we will do whatever we can to support VBPD in their investigation. However, at this time, we are not part of the investigation and do not have information that can be shared.
The safety and security of our students are of utmost importance to us, and we take this responsibility very seriously. If one of your child’s classes is impacted by this situation, you will receive a separate notification this evening.
Thank you for your support of Ocean Lakes High School.
Dr. Claire Le Blanc, Principal