FAIRBANKS — A 37-year-old Fairbanks man who was sentenced Monday to 45 years in prison for sexually abusing a young girl under his care told the judge he was a “feminist and pacifist” who had “earnest conversations” with the girl “about gender equality and how she should be able to expect the same respect as any man.”
Shawn Thomas Weixelman was charged in July 2016 with 11 counts of felony first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of felony second-degree abuse of a minor after investigators determined he abused the girl for six years, when she was between the ages of 8 and 14.
Weixelman pleaded guilty in May to a consolidated count of first degree sexual abuse of a minor during a four-year period. It was agreed Weixelman would be sentenced to between 30 to 69 years of active time.
The girl’s mother told the court, at the sentencing hearing, that she became ill, needing a year to recover. So she sent the girl to Fairbanks to live with Weixelman.
After her recovery, she left the girl with Weixelman because she “seemed to be doing well,” but later became concerned when the girl told her she was “hearing voices” and had “intrusive thoughts of hurting herself.” The girl was put on medication and returned to the Lower 48 to live with her mother. In May 2016, she confided that Weixelman had been sexually abusing her. The girl’s mother told the court Weixelman had a history of “relentless emotional manipulation and gaslighting” but she “didn’t think he’d do this to a child.”
“He does not deserve a second chance. Her suffering has been, and will continue to be, life-altering,” the girl’s mother said.
The girl told the court that Weixelman “knew what he did was wrong.
“Even after I told him I wanted it to stop and he agreed, he still did it. Even after he found how much he ruined me and broke my mind, he still kept doing it for his selfish reason. He did not care what happened to me, he cared about his own pleasure,” she said.
The girl said she suffers from severe PTSD because of Weixelman’s abuse.
“I will have to carry the weight of what he did for the rest of my life. And I will have to deal with it,” the girl said.
Weixelman’s defense attorney, Robert Downes, presented numerous family members as character witnesses for Weixelman. His father praised his son as a creative storyteller, screenwriter and movie maker and said jail has been a “traumatic experience” for Weixelman.
Weixelman told the court he hadn’t realized that his actions were wrong until he and the girl had a conversation in which “she expressed regret that we had done these things,” and “it really just kind of shattered my perception about the way that I had manifested my love.”