Mineral Ridge man facing several rape charges

Bernard Weathersbee pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of rape, among other charges, in court Thursday

Bernard Weathersbee, charged with 17 counts of rape, eight counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, and one count each of unlawful sexual contact with a minor and tampering with evidence.

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Mineral Ridge man facing rape charges appeared for his arraignment on Thursday in Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas.

Bernard Weathersbee, 44, was indicted on 17 counts of rape, eight counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, and one count each of unlawful sexual contact with a minor and tampering with evidence.

There were three victims in total, according to Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman. An indictment alleges that Weathersbee started sexually assaulting one of his victims in 2006, when that victim was just four years old, continuing through March of this year. Weathersbee is also accused of producing pornographic photos of two of the alleged victims.

Weathersbee has been charged with similar crimes in the past.

“He has been charged multiple times, once with a prior sex offense that was reduced, to some extent, and once with a rape that was dismissed,” Wildman said.

Both of the cases were filed in 2008 but were unrelated.

On Thursday, Weathersbee pleaded not guilty to the latest charges, and his bond was continued at $250,000 with the condition that if he posts bond, he cannot have any contact with his alleged victims or their family members. He will also be ordered to remain on house arrest.

Weathersbee is due back in court Wednesday for a pretrial hearing.

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