Former WOC Business Owner Faces 50 Years In Jail After Guilty Plea

WEST OCEAN CITY — The former owner of the O.C. Jamboree in West Ocean City on Tuesday pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two counts of producing child pornography and could face as many as 50 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

According to the plea agreement reached on Tuesday, from at least August 1990 through his arrest and indictment in 2015, David Edward Weatherholtz, 57, of Berlin, had sexual contact or sexual intercourse with at least four minors including family members and a child whom he mentored and taught while he owned and operated the O.C. Jamboree theater business in West Ocean City. The O.C. Jamboree property was sold at auction last August for $950,000 to the Sibony family, who announced plans for a brewery on the site although no formal plans have yet come forward for the vacant property.

On Dec. 3, 2014, an undercover detective with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to a sexually explicit ad placed on an Internet website. Records obtained from the website revealed Weatherholtz posted the advertisement and further indicated the ad was one of many posted by Weatherholtz from 2009 to 2014 for the purpose of meeting young males interested in sex.

According to the plea agreement reached on Tuesday, Weatherholtz and the undercover detective exchanged emails and text messages in which the detective identified himself as a 13-year-old deaf white male who lived with his aunt in Snow Hill. Weatherholtz arranged to meet the purported 13-year-old male at a restaurant in Snow Hill on Dec. 16, 2014 and indicated he would then take the boy back to his residence.

When Weatherholtz arrived at the meeting location, he was taken into custody. A search warrant was also executed at Weatherholtz’s home and law enforcement seized numerous computers, hard drives and other media storage devices. Subsequent forensic analysis of those items resulted in the recovery of numerous still photographs and a video of Weatherholtz engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a minor male victim. The images and video indicate the sexual abuse began when the victim was 12 years old and that Weatherholtz met the victim through his work as a musician, music teacher and owner of the O.C. Jamboree.

David E. Weatherholtz

David E. Weatherholtz

After the O.C. Jamboree property was sold last August, an employee of the new owner who was cleaning out the long-vacant business found a box on the property that was addressed to “Aaron Weatherholtz,” who was the defendant’s dog, and listed the sender as one of Weatherholtz’s relatives. Inside the box were photos of minor males engaged in sexual acts, sheets of paper called “official progress reports” that showed dated and hand-drawn pictures, CDs and DVDs and two VHS-compatible camcorder cassette tapes.

A review of those items revealed three other minor males engaged in sexually explicit conduct including a video of Weatherholtz engaged in sexually explicit conduct with two minor family members. After the new evidence came to light last August, Weatherholtz was indicted a second time with various new counts added. Weatherholtz faced 16 total counts ranging from production of child pornography to possession of child pornography to attempted enticement.

On Tuesday, Weatherholtz pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography. Weatherholtz faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for each of the two counts. According to the plea agreement, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein is recommending a sentence of 50 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Hollander has scheduled sentencing for May 19. Weatherholtz has been detained since his arrest in 2014.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

The guilty plea was announced on Tuesday by Rosenstein, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson, Homeland Security Investigations, Worcester County Sheriff Reggie Mason, Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby and Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

Alternative Text

Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.