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Posted on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

Case against Ann Arbor pediatrician accused of window peeping is postponed until Jan. 4

By Lee Higgins

Recent coverage: Attorney: Pediatrician charged with window-peeping will fight charge

A preliminary hearing in the case against an Ann Arbor pediatrician accused of window peeping and watching a 12-year-old girl change her clothing was adjourned Wednesday afternoon until Jan. 4.

Dr. Howard Bruce Weinblatt, 65, is facing four counts of surveilling an unclothed person and two counts of window peeping.

Weinblatt is accused of window peeping on Olivia Avenue, where he lives, and watching the girl change her clothing on four occasions between Oct. 18 and Oct. 31, court records say. His attorney, Larry Margolis, has said Weinblatt is accused of looking out the window of his own home.

During a hearing Wednesday afternoon at 14A District Court, Judge Christopher Easthope granted a request by Margolis to adjourn the case, so Margolis has more time to review discovery. Weinblatt was not required to appear after signing a form waiving his right to a preliminary hearing within 14 days. At that hearing, prosecutors must show there is probable cause a crime was committed and that Weinblatt committed it.

Ann Arbor police have released few details about the case. Last Tuesday, investigators executed a search warrant at Weinblatt's home and arrested him. Police seized a computer, but declined to say why.

Weinblatt, who is married, has taken a leave of absence from IHA Child Health - Ann Arbor, where he has worked for years, the company said Tuesday. State licensing officials said Weinblatt can continue to practice medicine while the criminal case is pending.

"He's eager to get this thing in court and clear his name," Margolis said after today's hearing.



Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

A thought did not cross my mind until this morning. Poster Gee Whiz said, "someone undressing by a window has no reasonable expectation of privacy". So, say one day you are working in your yard. You look over and see your neighbor's 12 year old daughter undressing through her bedroom window. Whether she knows the blinds are open or not is a moot point. Would we not have a moral obligation to let the girl's parents know what we just saw so it would not happen again? It was reported the doctor watched the girl four times over the span of a couple weeks and I have not read he told the parents of the girl what he saw. Or maybe he just felt "she had no reasonable expectation of privacy" and it was OK to watch.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

The &quot;reasonable expectation of privacy&quot; comes from the statute the doctor was charged with. As Brian Dickerson of the Detroit Free Press asks, &quot;If the blinds are open, is it a crime to look?&quot;. The keyword here is crime, and for it to be a crime there has to be a &quot;reasonable expectation of privacy&quot;. IMO, someone undressing by an open window on four separate occasions has no &quot;reasonable expectation of privacy&quot;. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

While I know your question is rhetorical, I thought I'd answer it anyway. We lived in a &quot;cookie-cutter&quot; neighborhood here for almost 10 years, where the homes were close together, and our backyard backed up to other back yards. If one of my neighbor's daughters were changing with the blinds open at night, I would, as a Mom, approach the other Mom, and let her know &quot;Jane&quot; forgot to close her blinds last night, and I noticed while I was outside raking leaves at dusk. Even if my husband saw this, I would still be the one to approach the other Mom. End of story. One more thing that occurs to me is that perhaps not all children have the capabiltiy of processing such an easy task as closing the blinds at dusk. For example, some children with ADHD have trouble with daily routines, and focusing on tasks that we take for granted, especially bed-time routines. We simply do not have enough facts. The victim is the 12-year old girl and her family.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 6:44 a.m.

After reading through all the comments... and I understand that we are to presume innocence until proven guilty... and after reading all the attacks on the folks that called the police.... general (in society), no wonder people are hesitant to call the cops or help a stranger, when they think they see something wrong. it's much 'easier' to just ignore it and walk away.

Phyllis McDermott

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 1:10 a.m.

The lawyers in Ann Arbor are circling this case like sharks to chum in the ocean.....not the defense lawyers.....but the civil lawyers. If the results of the forensic examination of the Dr's computer and camera yield no images of the unclothed neighbor child, the charges will be dropped. The prosecutor will have no choice. The testimony of a neighbor accusing his neighbor looking out of his own window will not stand as a basis to convict - they are BOTH &quot;peeping&quot; in looking at each other through the windows. What also has not been discussed in these threads is that it is a crime to make a false accusation that leads to the prosecution of another party. If the charges are dropped, the neighbors expose themselves to both civil and criminal liability. The Dr will have very compelling civil cases both against the police, for possible illegal/improper search and seizure of his personal property, malicious prosecution, etc. He will also have an interesting civil case against his neighbor based on the motives and other factors which led them to signing a criminal complaint, that will be obtained through discovery. If the neighbor signed the criminal complaint and affadavit, and the charges proves to be scurrilous, they have serious legal liability. Yes, I agree with the others, let's see what comes out in early January in court, but many people think the charges will be dropped by then. Yes, the child is a victim, but perhaps not by the actions of the Dr., but those of her parents. Also, Rodman makes some very good comments....I am going to go to court tomorrow and see if I can obtain a copy of the affadavit in support of the search warrant, which is the theme in this case that I find the most distressing as a citizen believing in one's civil and Constitutional rights.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Phyllis, are you an attorney? How about a little compassion for a child who may have been violated and the family that is probably trying to cope with that? You are speculating a lot of information on your part in your posts. My children have seen the doctor dozens of times in the past 20 years, when they have been ill, even though he is not their primary physician. Yes, I will agree that he is a fine doctor, and so are *all* of the docs at Child Health Associates. Do I begin to know anything about any of their personal lives, no, and neither do most of the people commenting on As a parent, I admit that he is a fine doctor, but I am not so naive that I can so easily dismiss the enormity of these allegations. Also as a parent of teenage girls, I feel so terribly sorry for the 12-year old and her family. They have been brave in coming forward with these allegations, probably knowing what type of speculation would occur before the facts are made public.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 6:12 a.m.

First, to say they were both &quot;peeping&quot; misses the law, which as reports, &quot;surveilling an unclothed person is a felony punishable upon conviction by up to two years in prison.&quot; Second, you're going a long way to discredit the parents of the child allegedly surveilled. Whether they convict or not, whether they drop the charges or not, whether it's all a misunderstanding or not, it's not a crime to report what one legitimately believes to be a crime. In fact, some might believe it's an obligation, particularly when there's a child victim. It would only be a crime if they knowingly made a false accusation. You make no attempt to make that distinction, and in fact you seem to be intentionally blurring it. Third, I freely admit that I'm not a lawyer. It's evident in your posting that you are not one either, although you appear to be trying to convey an expertise on the legal matters at hand. Please come forward and admit that you are not a lawyer.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

Good luck obtaining a copy of the affidavit. Let us know how that pans out. In the replies to Paula Gardner's comment at 3:49pm : &quot;...AAPD and other area police agencies do not release reports when cases are pending. They provide verbal reports. We have reviewed the entire court file. The prosecutor's office says the search warrant affidavit and returns are sealed, according to statute...&quot;


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 2:09 a.m.

Phyllis, thank you for all of your comments. You are spot on with all of them.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 12:13 a.m.

For you people who say, &quot;why can't he look out of the window of his own house?&quot; and &quot;why didn't the girl just close the blinds?&quot; Say your 12 year old daughter goes to bed everynight about 9:00 PM. Everynight, you see your male neighbor staring at her bedroom window at that time. Do not any of you thing that is creepy? Is this a guy you would all want living next door to you and around your kids? Your daughter should &quot;just close the blinds&quot; and get on with her life, right? I did not have a daughter but if this happened to one of my sons, yes, I would have a real problem with my neighbor.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

The good ole doctor is charged with &quot;surveilling an unclothed person&quot; on four separate occasions. The four surveillance's were purportedly observed by an adult. I could understand if it happened once but what we allegedly have is an adult observing: 1) an unclothed minor on four separate occasions 2) the doctor surveilling the unclothed minor on those four occasions Where is the &quot;reasonable expectation of privacy&quot; in all this?


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Ms Gee Whiz; Why not offer your services to the parents of the 12 year old girl by lecturing them on how she is the cause of all of the trouble for the poor doctor.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

Nobody is saying keep your blinds shut 24-7. I am simply saying shut the blinds when undressing or step away from the window to a different location in your house where an outsider can't see you. The key to this charge is &quot;reasonable expectation of privacy&quot;. Somebody undressing by a window does not have any &quot;reasonable expectation of privacy&quot;!


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

Well, probably because said neighbor watches the house all of the time and unbeknownst to you, knows what everyone's schedule and routine is. Yes, they have to be sneaky, but with most criminals, the more they do something, the more confident they get, which leads to recklessness in their behavior which leads to them getting caught. Tell me, why should I have to keep my blinds closed 24/7 so the neighbothood voyeurs do not watch my house? Keep my house darkend so the neighborhood freaks do not get their jollies. Makes alot of sense. This is the sort of thing that happens in the real world but I noticed over the years Ann Arbor folk can be incredibly naive. It is easy to armchair quarterback a situation with all of your advanced degrees, but until someone like the doctor moves next door to you, hopefully common sense reigns.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

Why would your neighbor ever have an inkling as to when your daughter changed, slept, etc. I have neighbors and have no idea when they shower, change, etc because they have blinds on their windows. Blinds are there for privacy, shut the blinds and nobody will know what goes on in your house behind the blinds!


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

Unless there is a suppression order the search warrant and affidavit in support of the issuance of the warrant are both public record in the court that issued them. The &quot;return&quot; instrument disclosing a tabulation what the police acquired as a result of the searches incident to the warrant would likewise be of public interest. What I am surprised is that no journalist has posted a link or, to my information even obtained those documents for review. I largely agree with the observations of Phyllis McDermott that there are legitimate questions about how this investigation has been conducted. We will have to wait and see how things play out in court. One of the functions of the County Prosecutor, in theory, is to be an impartial officer to administer actual justice. One of the main purposes of the Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure in establishing a preliminary examination before a judicial officer is to &quot;weed out&quot; cases that are on their face devoid of arguable legal merit so defendants are not jailed or have their lives on hold under such circumstances waiting for months or years for a trial to clear their name. That considered, this case may be over after Judge Easthope completes his examination.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:58 a.m.

Roadman, the warrant may be public record but: In the replies to Paula Gardner's comment at 3:49pm : &quot;...AAPD and other area police agencies do not release reports when cases are pending. They provide verbal reports. We have reviewed the entire court file. The prosecutor's office says the search warrant affidavit and returns are sealed, according to statute...&quot;


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

I agree, let's try the case in court and not in this forum.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 11:14 p.m.

All this just amazes me. I keep reading comment after comment berating the young girl. how sad !.. This is exactly why these things go on for so long and people are afraid to say anything. After all the college coach's that are now in serious trouble for what happened years and years ago, this just seems a prime example of unreported events. I just hope justice gets it right. And by the way?.. look around you at the 12 year olds these days.. they are very different then they were 20 years ago.

Rod Johnson

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:58 a.m.

I haven't seen one comment &quot;berating the young girl.&quot; Cite please.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

I dont know the doctor from the next guy, but I am waiting for his supporters on thie forum to host a &quot;window peepers appreciation day&quot; on the diag. I find it hard to believe that the police in Ann Arbor would investigate a case, execute a search warrant, and arrest someone on little or no evidence. Prior to charges being filed in court, a judge then has to sign off on the affadavit. As for people here insinuating peeping is a victimless crime. Therer is an old saying in law enforcement circles that &quot;all peepers are not serial rapists, but all serial rapists are peepers&quot;. I am not implying this would apply to the doctor but I am saying peeping is a serious crime and should be treated as such. I feel the court sysytem in Washtenaw is better that most and the truth will play out in court.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

@genetracy: Yes, the truth will play out in court, agreed. I do find it surprising that there are soooooo many experts on That's great to know, if someone else is ever in trouble, the commenters will be there to back them up as well...right?! Offer free legal advice too. @actnow: I feel a great deal of empathy for this 12-year old girl, whose identity must be known to all who live on that street, and the Burns Park neighborhood. Her family is most likely being treated like lepers, and that is a terrible shame. She is the victim.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

This is what was reported from and how do we know if the police Lt. was quoted, misqoated, or even quoted at all? The doctor's supporters on this forum have accused of yellow journalism but they are now telling the truth? As stated, the truth will come out in court.

act now

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

@kms: Maybe, just maybe, they were trying to protect the identity of the victim. How many 12 year old girls live next door? It's obvious who it is now, and that's a shame.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

&quot;I find it hard to believe that the police in Ann Arbor would investigate a case, execute a search warrant and arrest someone on little or no evidence.&quot; What I find &quot;hard to believe&quot; is that the police investigator and Lt. initially reported to the media that Dr. W was outside his house peeping when in fact, all agree that this was a erroneous statement and that Dr. W was in his own house. What kind of police investigation was conducted if they get it wrong about where the alleged peeping took place?


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

To expect to have any editorial integrity is asking a lot. It appears that the Lt. who provided with the information was grand standing without having a clear picture of the factual events. Now the AAPD is hiding behind their original statements by sealing the report. Confiscating Dr. Weinblatt's computer only means they (AAPD) will be searching his hard drive for any type of child porn to support their arrest. If, however, that he will become guilty as charged for looking out his own window then every person who has ever walked their dog, stroll their neighborhood, or was a paperboy will be guilty of that casual glance into someone's window. I do hope that it is proven otherwise for Dr. Weinblatt. However, with the information already reported and how it was initially reported I'm afraid the damage to Dr. Weinblatt's reputation has already occurred. Shame that these two entities ( &amp; AAPD) will continue on with their unprofessionalism while a man's career will be tarnished before given his chance to prove his guilt or innocence.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

We all know the cops had nothing better to do then arrest the guy.

Ira Strumwasser

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

Dr. Howard Weinblatt, MD, is the finest man and physician I have ever known. He is a man of integrity and genuine compassion. He was my daughter's and son's pediatrician. I put their health and safety in his hands and would do it again, in a New York minute. The reporting on this has been horrible. I have no doubt that when the truth comes out, he will be vindicated. Ira Strumwasser, Ph.D. Ann Arbor


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

Sounds like something Joe Paterno said recently.....


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

More proof that fences make great neighbors


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 6 p.m.

What, is the like the 4th day Ann Arbor News has run a story on this? Guess its a slow &quot;news&quot; month. Too bad for the accused in this case, having his face plastered on the front page of the Ann Arbor News for four days.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

Hopefully, the old saying, &quot;The wheels of Justice grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine&quot; applies here. I am cautious about such allegations / &quot;incidents&quot; because of the long history proving the necessity of thorough investigation and properly conducted court trials. Both supporters and opponents of individuals in the past have shown &quot;a rush to judgement&quot; which turn out to be wrong. Hoping for a good, appropriate outcome for all parties involved seems to me to be the best &quot;stance&quot; to take. That and: Let Justice be served.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

Yesterday I was censured for saying basically what Brien Dickerson said this morning in the Detroit Free Press. Someone commented on his article, referring to the the guy that moved in next door to the Palins with the intent of spying on them and the liberal press thought that was OK. If I get censured for this comment, it will prove that does not believe in freedom of speech except if it suits their views.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 6:27 p.m.

that's &quot;censored&quot; I believe.

Jojo B

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

The Detroit Free Press has better insight on this incident. I think that's spin (or lack of details) is doing an injustice to Dr. Weinblatt. Perhaps you would like to update your story before the entire state assumes his guilt? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

say it plain

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

Yes, thanks for posting...SO much better than our coverage and insight! Obviously there is still a lot of crypticness and reluctance to clarify coming from the prosecutor's office, but from this it sure seems that Margolis seems to be proceeding in defense against accusations that his client was peeping through an uncovered window. If that is all that ends up being accused, then indeed his little coda about &quot;talking to the dog about walking herself&quot; would be something for all men to consider...


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

thanks for posting this link, was an excellent piece that addressed something I had there precedence for someone to be convicted for window peeping out of their own home...


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

I have an idea. Let's wait until the facts are known instead of speculating wildly at every level.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 4:08 a.m.

The following information is from the Detroit News article. This should have been included in the AA dot com article. Why was it omitted? &quot;A witness allegedly saw Weinblatt looking at the girl multiple times between Oct. 18 and Oct. 31 'under circumstances where that individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy,' according to the complaint. The girl lives next to Weinblatt on Olivia Avenue, a few blocks southeast of the University of Michigan. Weinblatt's attorney, Larry Margolis, said in an email the allegations are that his client was looking from his own window, and he plans a 'vigorous defense.' &quot;


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

Margolis also said he had not had time to review discovery


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

I am shocked that you can be arrested for looking out the windows of your own home.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

Imagine the uproar if had reported that an unnamed adult male who was arrested and charged with 4 counts of looking in the window of a young girl in the Burns Park neighborhood, had been released and was out in the community? How many readers would yell about needing to know what street, who was arrested, how the neighborhood was being protected from such a person.....because they felt they have the right to know this information in order to protect their own homes and families. The reaction really changes with reader bias based on a preconceived impression of the character of the alleged perp. But...sadly, people we have trusted for years can have dark secrets that we don't want to believe exist. If an arrest like this was made in your neighborhood, wouldn't you want to know as many details as possible, including the person accused and the street they all live on in order to safeguard your own family? Dont slam the reporter for reporting the details that you know you would want if it was going on near you.

Phyllis McDermott

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 12:01 a.m.

This case is unsettling on many levels. It has now been proven that Dr. Weinblatt was in the sanctity of his own home when these charges were made. Both his attorney and the police have now confirmed this. Let's set aside the extraordinary manner in which the police publicly accounted for this &quot;crime&quot; by inferring that Dr W. was literally lurking in the bushes outside someone's home watching a young girl change her clothing. And that this reporting went out on the internet picked up by numerous media around the world, and damaging the reputation of this &quot;pillar of the community.&quot; But let's turn to the charges themselves. How can one be arrested in their own home by looking out the window? This charge is extraordinary. Of course many people live in homes and apartments that are adjacent to other homes and that people often leave their windows open. It is only common sense, that if a person lives in a home that has windows exposed to another home and they want privacy, that they simply close the drapes or the blinds. If this child's parents felt that it was possible for a neighbor to witness her changing her clothing, that they would instruct her how to close the blinds before she does so. The burden is on the person undressing, not the individual who lives in the house right next door as to guess at what times they are not to look out the windows of their own home. Then the parents of the child let this happen on numerous occasions instead of again, simply shutting the blinds. But what is even more extraordinary, is that the police were actually able to get a Judge to issue a search warrant based on these charges to search the home of a private citizen. Based on the charge of a man looking out his own window - even if someone was changing in a open window next door - it does not serve as the basis of getting a search warrant, it doesn't pass the test. When the dust settles, the Doctor will have civil lawsuit remedies against all of t


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

Many interesting points have been brought up in this thread. However, what I find most deeply troubling of all is the initial statement by the police investigator and lieutenant who said Dr. W went to the girl's home to peep when in fact it is now confirmed that he never left his own home! In my opinion, this is a critical factual error and wonder if this was the &quot;evidence&quot; cited to obtain the search warrant. Honestly, my confidence in the police to have appropriately handled this case is a bit shaken up. Obviously we don't know all the facts but as Phyllis stated, this is such an extraordinary case with such devastating consequences not matter what the ultimate is not surprising so many people are weighing in with opinions.

Phyllis McDermott

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

David - the only scenario that would make sense to even possibly justify the police having the grounds for the search warrant would have been the parent seeing the Dr with a camera or video recorder in his hands when he was looking out of the window of his own home at the open window of the neighbor where the child was allegedly undressing. The reason the attorney requested a continuance for the hearing was that the forensic examination of his client's computer was not yet completed, so it would only be prudent to conclude that the police have no incriminating images on either a camera or the computer that could support the charge of peeping or surveillance.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

david st. crystal , well said. As I said before, NO ONE on here knows the exact circumstances of this case. Again, what would the authorities motive be to casually arrest and charge this man? If it is such a mistake, why would the defendant's attorney ask for an adjournment until January, leaving all involved to spend the holidays in misery? People are reacting from their gut and over emotionalizing their responses to this. As someone else said, if the person had been un-named, would everyone be reacting in the same way? When a witness said the tae-kwon-do instructor was committing child abuse in the car on I-94 did everyone react the same way?

david st. crystal

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

Phyllis, I applaud the sentiment behind your rallying cry. Is it possible, however, that you find the charge &quot;extraordinary&quot; because you don't know all the details? None of us do. The biggest mystery is why someone observed Weinblatt peeping (which already makes no sense) and 1) did not intervene, and 2) waited for four incidents before reporting this. Why was the complainant in position to observe both Weinblatt, a naked girl, and the former spying on the latter 4 times? In terms of being at home and not camouflaged in the bushes, I'm not sure what this means legally. Surely it's not legal to videotape or use binoculars to view someone undressing, even if you're in your own home. Phyllis, there was no basis for getting a search warrant if your description of the events is 100% accurate. Again, I doubt this, and hence you lack knowledge of specifics that would enable judgment on whether a warrant was, erm, warranted.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 2:42 a.m.

Phyllis, this is exactly what I've been thinking and you said it so well. Thank you.

Phyllis McDermott

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 12:42 a.m.

Even if Dr W was actually lurking in the bushes of this family looking in at the girl changing, WHICH WAS NOT the case, it STILL would not serve as the basis for the police to be able to obtain a search warrant to seize his property. He would have simply been arrested. If someone is arrested for a DUI, it does not serve as the basis to search that person's home to see if they may have illegal drugs, because the warrant is UNRELATED to the offence, as it is in this case. This is going to turn into a big civil liberties lawsuit !

average joe

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 11:48 p.m.

Everybody needs to 'put their finger down' for a minute. What the police said, what the defense attorney said, what the reporter asked, what was reported in the news, why four stories in two days, inside his house, outside her house, etc. IF the Dr. is found innocent, I can see all of this might be cleared up in Civil court someday.

John Hoop

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 10:47 p.m.

Yes innocent until proven otherwise-- &lt;y question is he was accused by the same person on 4 different occasions of looking from his house? So then is that other person also guilty since that person has knowledge of the clothed/ unclothed stateof the 12 year old child , think about it, if I see you looking out your window then I only know what you are looking at if I too look, then again maybe I just see what I want to see.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

I wonder if those crying for &quot;Innocent Until Proven Guilty&quot; cry out for that in all news stories...if this were another man, another race, another city, you would be condemning him from day 1. needs a consistent policy for naming the accused, the details and the process across all individuals and communities. In my opinion, we, as readers, need to hold the organization and ourselves accountable for both implicit and explicit judgments.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

This is serious stuff. I remember sometime in 1996 a friend of mine was peeking through his girlfriends window over on Dewey because they had plans to meet but the door was locked. Well the AAPD rolls up and arrests him for window peeping. His own girlfriend came outside and said what the hell are you doing? Didnt matter they still charged him and it freaked him out so bad from the constant taunting and embarrassment he ended up killing himself over it.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 10:12 p.m.

Likely story. You say he was arrested, but did the case go to trial? It seems the cops cannot arrest someone when there is an unwilling victim (except cases of domestic violence). Could it be your friend was looking in someone else's window? If charges were not filed, it seem he would have a strong federal case for false arrest. Did he sue? How about a few more details?


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

Like the case against the doctor, I think there is more to the sad death of your friend.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

For everyone backstopping Dr. Weinblatt with vague accusations about the victim in this crime, stop. Think. Why did it take the parents four times before they were willing to go to the police? Maybe they were stunned, couldn't believe it like the rest of us. Maybe they were afraid of speaking out, knowing what was likely going to come. Maybe it was that last and fourth time when they were able to prove it to themselves... and then to the police. Think. There must be something else here - something more than just a casual glance through a window. It was enough for the police to arrest a pillar of the community, put him in irons and drag him down to the station, incarcerated overnight. So before you begin blaming a young girl for not drawing her shades or blaming the parents for &quot;entrapment&quot; or Ann for not explaining the exact details of the crime, ask yourself why the parents and AAPD were ultimately compelled to take action, knowing this would end Dr. Weinblatt's career, knowing there would be public outcry, knowing that if they were in any way wrong, it could come back to haunt them 100 times over. The mere fact that no one wants to believe this happened is precisely how this type of crime happens. Victims are afraid to speak out against someone loved by so many others, someone doing so many good things in the community. People in a position to put an end to something bad hesitate, concerned about the repercussions. Yes he's innocent until proven guilty. But so is the young girl and so are her parents. Remember there is a victim here. And at least according to the police, it is not Dr. Weinblatt. Maybe she hasn't had enough time to become pillar of the community, but justice is for everyone, not just people we all want to believe are above reproach.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 4:56 a.m.

mcdunnough: I have read the comments on all four of the articles on, and yours is the one comment that makes the most sense, is the most fair, and sounds the most unbiased.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

&quot;if you were the parent who believed that YOUR child had been viewed while undressing&quot; THEN, I would shut the drapes. Now, where did I put that &quot;easy button&quot;?


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 12:33 a.m.

He may well be a very fine physician, but if you were the parent who believed that YOUR child had been viewed while undressing, his past professional history would not matter one bit. All of the vigorous concern for the doc is probably very tough reading for the victim and her family.

Phyllis McDermott

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 12:13 a.m.

mcdunnough, while your comments appear well intentioned, you are putting way too much credence in assuming that the intentions of the police or the parents are appropriate, credible or noble. It appears now that there is no dispute that Dr W was in his home during the alleged &quot;crime&quot;. This case could well be unprecendented of a private citizen being arrested in his own home for looking out the window, and then to subsequently have his home searched based on a warrant. Is this not a violation of civil liberties? There is something deeper going on here with the neighbors, which will come out in the days to come. You speak of victims.....right now, based on the facts as are presented, Dr. W has been victimized far more than the child whose parents refused to close her blinds after the first &quot;incident.&quot;....


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 12:03 a.m.

Ms. Atkinson - you said, regarding mcdunnough's comments - &quot;The sad fact is that these kinds of allegations are oftentimes leveled for personal gain and people who make false allegations of any kind are banking on emotional reactions such as yours.&quot; Where did you see them make an emotional reaction. Please explain. Then you said &quot;I urge you to take pause before jumping to conclusions. &quot; What conclusions are you talking about? I think that your emotions have gotten the best of you and you are imagining things.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 11:19 p.m.

&quot;...The mere fact that no one wants to believe this happened is precisely how this type of crime happens...&quot; The readers that believe the charges are having their comments deleted.

Judy Atkinson

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 10:02 p.m.

I strongly disagree with your statement that, &quot;... no one wants to believe this happened...&quot; Those of us who are raising questions are simply urging caution before a person's livelihood, reputation and life are possibly ruined by a rush to judgement. Not to mention the impact that this will have on Dr. Weinblatt's family. You urge us to &quot;think&quot; but there is a difference between looking at things critically vs drawing conclusions based on emotion. Just because Dr. Weinblatt was arrested does not mean that we should conclude that there must be &quot;something else here&quot;. If we are to assume that just because a person is arrested they must be guilty then there is no need for fair judicial process. The sad fact is that these kinds of allegations are oftentimes leveled for personal gain and people who make false allegations of any kind are banking on emotional reactions such as yours. If it is determined that the girl's parents are fabricating these charges then they should be convicted for making false allegations and diverting resources from true victims. If the evidence shows that Dr. Weinblatt is guilty as charged then so be it. But in the meantime I urge you to take pause before jumping to conclusions. While your empathy for the alleged victim in this case understandable, you should wait to see who is committing the crime here.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:59 p.m.

You make some good points here and it seems from Paula Gardner's explanations in a previous post, the public can't yet know what evidence led to the search warrant or what evidence prompted the prosecutor to authorize the charges. Still, it is very troubling that the police investigator initially reported that Dr. Weinblatt was outside in the neighborhood when the alleged peeping incidents occurred....when in fact it is now revealed that he was in his own home! That fact makes a huge, huge difference and how could the police get this so wrong? I'm wondering if in the light of the Penn State incident, police are over-eager to address various types of unseemly behavior. Obviously, we can't know any answers until this plays out in court.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

GeeWhiz- Absolutely! I can guarantee you if I even thought there was a remote chance something like that was happening to my child, it would never happen again. There would not be any time to be&quot; stunned&quot; because my child would learn how to protect their privacy even if it means I am up in their room closing the drapes before bed time. Not saying this is the fault of the victim or their family (if the accusations are true) but we need to all learn from this. There needs to be discussion with our kids about privacy and keeping safe because the world is no longer a safe place and anyone can be driving by and looking in.

say it plain

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

Totally reasonable and well articulated points. But this is so oddly sensationalist and so little has been revealed by investigators. I guess we'll have to wait and see what's truly up here, and I surely hope it didn't entail nasty deeds by Dr. Weinblatt. I think in part because he has been a *trusted* person in the lives of so many, and in his work has 'served' so many people in rather deep ways--'doctoring' to children is a very emotion-laden sort of connection to a community--there is 'special' desire to see this as not being based in any wrong behavior. That this seems to have gone from an apparent case of shocking (the idea of walking to a window to peer at a young girl undressing) to merely confusing (the idea that he would/could intend to 'surveil' her from his own home, as she repeatedly undressed before a window in her presumably-close-by home), adds to the effect of questioning that the accused 'really' did anything untoward, you know?


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

Amen. And thank you mcdunnough.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

Lee Higgins, in his Nov. 28th posting states, &quot;Ann Arbor police Lt. Mark St. Amour said Weinblatt went to the girl's home near Burns Park Elementary School on four occasions between Oct. 18 and Oct. 31 and looked through a window, watching as she changed her clothing.&quot; On the Nov. 29th posting he stated, &quot;[Weinblatt] is accused of going to a 12-year-old girl's home near Burns Park Elementary School in Ann Arbor on four occasions last month and looking through a window, watching as she changed her clothing.&quot; In a separate Nov. 29th posting, Higgins quotes Larry Margolis, Weinblatt's attorney, as writing, &quot;The allegations of the complaint are limited to the claim that he was looking out the window of his own home,&quot; and further writing, &quot;No one has ever made the claim that Dr. Weinblatt has done anything outside the privacy of his own personal residence.&quot; It is IMPOSSIBLE to reconcile the two accounts, the first apparently originating from Lt. Mark St. Amour and the second from Larry Margolis. I would like Higgins to clarify or quote what St. Amour said and for St. Amour to clearly state whether Weinblatt is accused of &quot;going to&quot; the girl's home.

Jen Eyer

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 11:04 p.m.

Lee did ask St. Amour this question, and St. Amour declined to comment. It was in yesterday's story, which is linked at the top of this one. That part reads: Ann Arbor police Lt. Mark St. Amour declined to comment on what Margolis said.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

I think that the editors at should provide an answer to this question. Paula Gardner said that the police report is sealed, which I think should have been disclosed in the original article published on Nov. 28th about an arraignment that happened on Nov. 23. The Associated Press picked up Lee's original story and cites and the Detroit News as the source of the information. <a href=",0,7212667.story" rel='nofollow'>,0,7212667.story</a>

Paula Gardner

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.

There have been some questions about changing details given as background in these criminal charges. I just want to clarify that the initial report from a police investigator to indicated that Dr. Weinblatt was outside his home when the alleged incidents took place. That later was revised - by the investigator and supported by Dr. Weinblatt's attorney when he decided to comment after the initial story - to note that he was inside his home. Initial reports in criminal matters do frequently change as they're investigated. That's one reason suspects are rarely named, unless there's a signed warrant. I can't speak to why the information changed in this case, though we are asking. However, this story was published only after the prosecutor authorized charges against Dr. Weinblatt. At this writing, he's still facing four counts of surveilling an unclothed person and two counts of window peeping. We routinely cover - and will continue to cover - criminal court cases, and that includes naming suspects from the point of arraignment.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 12:16 a.m.

@Paula Gardner: Search warrant sealed? Did you actually see the suppression order? They are usually limited in duration. Check with the court clerk's office or office of the judge that issued it to confirm this. Usually suppression of search warrants is used to prevent evidence destruction or to otherwise compromise an ongoing investigation - there are no reasons to suppress now since charges have been filed and the warrant was already executed.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

Thanks, Paula. So if I am understanding correctly, Lee looks at a log or clipboard of charges filed for arraignments? Then based on what is news worthy, he calls the detective listed on the line-item entry? So you are saying his first story was based on his interview with the detective. Did an editor review Lee's notes with him and feel satisfied that all detailed questions were asked so that a fair story could be published? While I understand your explanation of the basic process and the overview of reporters working around incomplete information, I think it is incumbent on the editors who are more experienced than reporters on this staff, to doublecheck and oversee that on a sensitive story like this, things are handled responsibly?

Paula Gardner

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

@aaparent - AAPD and other area police agencies do not release reports when cases are pending. They provide verbal reports. We have reviewed the entire court file. The prosecutor's office says the search warrant affidavit and returns are sealed, according to statute.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

Paula - Thanks for clarifying. Are you saying that the report changed by the police, or that your reports changed as the reporter inquired more after the initial story was published? You are pinning Lee's initial reporting on the plaintiff's attorney not being able to comment. But that doesn't explain whether Lee or another editor, such as yourself, actually read the initial police report and felt that the the original story was an accurate accounting of the facts. Yes -- the charges were filed at arraignment but the police report is the record of the police evidence on public record. What did the report say on Nov. 28 when you originally published the story? How has the police report changed or is it only that the reporting on the police report has changed as more questions have been raised?


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

please see my comment mug shots on those updates on the robbery...nothing...but like I said...a sex scandal...or the inking of one will be beaten like a meringue


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

The impression I was left with after reading Lee's first article which has now been re-printed (but edited) by other news organizations was that the doctor was accused of being in the other family's yard peering through a window. What does the police report say? The reporter's article should be based on the police report, and then the charges at the arraignment hearing. Lee states in today's article that the police have released few details. What questions did the reporter ask? If there are not enough details, how was the editorial decision made to publish the stories and how many editors read over each one before going live on on the internet with the information?


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

Wow...sensationalism at the very least. I have questioned and even emailed regarding the jewlery store robbery a few weeks ago...and updates, asking if there has been a hearing..a pre-lim....arraingment? Nothing but then a sex scandal will draw the masses...tabloid writing? I dunno...but I will say there is very little follow up by this staff on stories posted that ARE NOT scandalous...then dropped.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

I'm sorry, but I just get the feeling that this tremendous outpouring of suspicious anger and disbelief would not occur if this was about someone who was not a prominent Ann Arbor doctor. The double standard is alive and well in Ann Arbor. No one commenting knows the exact circumstances of this case. No one can claim to know what happened. It seems like some would think that nothing should have been reported on this until the end of the trial - IF there is one. At the same time they would be horrified if that was the case for most anyone else. I also don't agree that this doctor's career would be over if he is vindicated. He seems to have plenty of people that would still want him to care for their children.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

I disagree. Part of the story getting this front-and-center play by is because it is a well known pediatrician in the community. Many, many families have had their kids in Dr. Weinblatt's office, myself included. He has always been professional, caring and appropriate. There was a police report filed and the story should have been reported. But the way in which it has been reported has been sloppy , in my opinion. There is a basic confusion on the facts reported in the story. If someone less well known was accused and there was confusion about facts, I would hope family and friends would stand up for that person.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:11 p.m. Is the police report on which the initial story was based published on this website somewhere? If not, did an editor or editors review the police report with the reporter before publishing the initial story?


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

Ditto to the comments of HBA and a2roots above. I see neighbors on both sides in their homes as I pass by and look out my windows. Sometimes we even have waved hello! Sometimes we have been in various states of dress! I realize that a man looking at a girl is serious, but I would hope that the neighbor expressed concern and/or a warning to Dr. W. before taking this to police. If not, I cannot understand the ethics of a set-up four times. Why would a parent allow this to happen and put a child through that? Dr. W. is a community pillar and has conducted himself according to the highest standards in the past. Knowing that, I truly hope that the parents took preliminary steps directly with him before reporting to the police and taking down him, his family, and career based on uncertain intent/motive/interpretation of events.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.

i sure wounder why what is reported and what is actual is do different. sounds like a law suite in the works if true.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

Hunybee3- I was thinking the same thing about staring out a window. Hard to believe an eye witness can be accurate in that situation unless they are in the same room and next to the person during the incident.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

Thank you! I somehow don't believe that they did that though it would have been a proper channel or even the right thing to do, what would make a person so sure that her neighbor was peeping and not just staring off into space!


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

Another example of why this age of instant news needs some thought. In a rush to publish scandalous news, and probably damage someone's career in the process, failed to investigate thoroughly enough to find out that the man was looking out his own window. We were led to believe there was a creep crawling around in the bushes peeping in windows but now we find that's not the case. Sadly, the horse has left the barn. Editorial oversight?

John Spelling

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 10:26 p.m.

A reporter from one of the Detroit TV stations reported this last night from outside the girls window. That was the first my wife and I had heard of this and we very much had the impression the Dr had been peering in the window from the bushes. AA.Com does't have the patent on misleading/half-truth journalism. The entire industry seems corrupt.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

Alan, until ad revenue is based on something other than number of click throughs on stories, it will never happen. News sites have a vested financial interest in generating clicks, and so they print whatever it will take to get them. If their advertising rates were dependent upon, say, reader assessment of the quality and accuracy of their content, it would be a completely different ball game.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

I am not the finder of fact. My comment is that the internet has allowed instant reporting which frequently results in reporting before sufficient facts are even known. Part of responsible journalism is fact checking before publication. What we have today is reporting before the facts are even available to report, it happens frequently. I think that the &quot;news&quot; industry needs to think about how journalistic integrity applies to questions concerning modern methods of news reporting.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

It makes alot of difference, it's the difference between he was in the bushes looking in, to he was looking out his window! It was written to be misleading, and wether we agree or disagree people will read it and make judgement!

Greg M

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

What difference does it make? It's all speculation either way. Do you expect to provide enough factual detail to let you make a ruling of guilt or innocence? I agree with you regarding the career damage, but that's a matter for the doctor and his lawyer to take up once they've dealt with the current charges.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

We know of Dr. Weinblatt by his exceedingly high reputation, and we are saddened by what he and his family are going through. In reading the various articles that have appeared in and the comments that followed, much of which have inconsistencies, we cannot help but wonder what has happened to Innocent Until Proven Guilty. There appears to have been a terrible rush to judgement. We hope that Dr. Weinblatt ultimately will be vindicated and we urge everyone to withhold judgment until all the facts are in.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

He may well be a very fine physician, but if you were the parent who believed that YOUR child had been viewed while undressing, his past professional history would not matter one bit. All of the vigorous concern for the doc is probably very tough reading for the victim and her family. How about a little compassion for a child who may have been violated and the family that will have to cope with that trauma in the future?