Search warrant affidavit details case against Ann Arbor pediatrician
A search warrant affidavit unsealed this week provides new details in the case against an Ann Arbor pediatrician accused of watching out his bathroom window as a 12-year-old neighbor got changed in her bedroom closet.
Dr. Howard Weinblatt, 65, who is on leave from IHA Child Health - Ann Arbor, is facing four counts of surveilling an unclothed person and two counts of window peeping.
The affidavit by Ann Arbor police Detective Amy Ellinger was used to establish probable cause to search Weinblatt's home Nov. 22 and seize four computers, a hard drive and thumb drive.
It says the investigation began Nov. 7, when the girl's parents met with detectives at the police station to share concerns about Weinblatt "inappropriately looking" at their daughter, who also was his patient.
The girl's mother told detectives that she saw Weinblatt watching out his second-floor bathroom window on three occasions in 10 days as her daughter got changed in her walk-in bedroom closet. On at least two of the occasions, the affidavit says her daughter was getting ready for school.
A window in her daughter's closet is "covered with a sheer curtain" and her home is 11 feet from Weinblatt's home in the Burns Park neighborhood.
Weinblatt's bathroom window has blinds on it and the lower portion is frosted for privacy, the affidavit says.
On Oct. 18, the girl's mother was sitting in a chair near large windows in her daughter's bedroom, the affidavit says, when her daughter turned on a light in the closet as she got changed for school. Soon after, a light in Weinblatt's bathroom went on, the affidavit says. The woman "could see Weinblatt looking through a small space about mid-height of the window, above the privacy glass and below the window blind" at her daughter's closet window while her daughter got changed. The affidavit doesn't say the time the alleged incident occurred.
Three days later, at about 7:45 a.m., the girl's mother again claims she "observed Weinblatt looking out his bathroom window" at her daughter's closet window while her daughter got changed for school. The affidavit doesn't say where the girl's mother was at the time.
Seven days after that, the girl's mother put an iPad against a window in the main area of her daughter's bedroom, facing it toward Weinblatt's house in order to record a video. According to the affidavit, she could see that "Weinblatt was looking out his bathroom window" at her daughter's closet window while her daughter changed.
The affidavit does not mention a fourth incident. Weinblatt is facing four counts of surveilling an unclothed person.
Ellinger watched the video and saw Weinblatt looking out the bathroom window between the privacy glass and blinds, the affidavit says. He appeared to be masturbating which "is visible through the frosted window glass."
The affidavit was reviewed by Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Amy Reiser and signed Nov. 21 by Judge Elizabeth Hines.
Ann Arbor police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush declined to comment Wednesday on whether investigators have examined the computers that were seized, saying the investigation is ongoing. Weinblatt's attorney, Tom O'Brien, declined to comment on the affidavit. By law, the affidavit was sealed for 56 days.
Weinblatt is scheduled to return to court Jan. 26 for a preliminary hearing.
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.