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Posted on Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Ann Arbor pediatrician Howard Weinblatt must move as part of peeping sentence

By Kyle Feldscher

This story has been updated.

An Ann Arbor mother spoke in court Tuesday, admonishing her daughter's long-time doctor and neighbor Howard Weinblatt, who was being sentenced for peeping on the 12-year-old girl.

"More than 30 years ago, you took an oath that said, ‘Do no harm,'" she said. "Sadly, you have broken that oath and you have broken my daughter.”


Flanked by his lawyers, Dr. Howard Weinblatt, 65, walks into the Washtenaw County Justice Center in Ann Arbor on Tuesday for his sentencing on a felony peeping charge.

Melanie Maxwell |

Weinblatt was accused of watching out of his second-floor bathroom window as the 12-year-old girl changed clothes in her bedroom, according to police.

He pleaded no contest to one count of surveilling an unclothed person in January, facing a maximum of two years in prison for the felony.

On Tuesday, Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Donald Shelton decided to sentence Weinblatt to five years of probation, which included a condition that he must move from his home, situated just 11 feet from the victim’s family’s home in Burns Park. is not naming the mother and father of the victim, both of whom spoke in court Tuesday. Doing so would identify the girl, who is a minor and a victim of a sex crime.

Shelton ruled Weinblatt had 30 days to move from his home, must register as a sex offender, must complete sex offender treatment and must pay a $2,000 fine, in addition to other court costs. He has lived in the home since his Nov. 22 arrest and both the girl’s mother and father told Shelton that seeing Weinblatt come and go has tortured the family.

The girl’s parents both told Weinblatt they held him responsible for ruining a relationship that stretched well beyond the 13 years they were neighbors. The girl’s father told Weinblatt that the girl viewed him as a third grandfather.

He said the decision to take their complaint to the Ann Arbor police was one of the hardest decisions of their lives and he couldn’t believe his eyes when his wife showed him a video of Weinblatt where he appeared to be masturbating while peeping.

“How could you do this to us, your friends?” he said.

The girl also gave a statement to Shelton, but did so in the judge's chambers and no one aside from the girl, Shelton, the case's lawyers, the girl's parents and Weinblatt was allowed to hear it.

The magnitude of the hearing clearly weighed on Weinblatt. During the minutes waiting for Shelton to enter the courtroom, Weinblatt alternately held his head in his hands, wiped his eyes and hung his head.

He struggled to get any words out for a few seconds when offered a chance to speak to Shelton before the ruling was delivered. Eventually, he offered his apologies to a family he’d known for three generations.

“I have the deepest remorse regarding all the pain and suffering this has caused,” he said.

For many years, Weinblatt was a well-respected member of the Ann Arbor community, serving on numerous boards and donating to many causes, according to his lawyer Thomas Cranmer.

Cranmer called Tuesday a tragic and sad day for Weinblatt, a man who had lost his job, his standing in the community, his place on many of the boards he served on and is likely to lose his medical license. No matter what sentence Shelton handed down, Weinblatt had already lost much since being charged, he said.

“The implications of this situation are well beyond what the court can or will impose,” Cranmer said.

However, Shelton said Weinblatt should have considered all of those consequences before acting.

“You did that to yourself,” he said.

Neither Weinblatt nor the girl’s family offered any comments after the hearing was over — the girl and her family walked past a group of assembled media and Weinblatt was taken out of the courtroom through a back door.

The girl’s mother and father spoke extensively regarding the relationship their daughter had with Weinblatt before the alleged peeping occurred.

The girl’s mother took care of Weinblatt’s wife after she broke her arm, going so far as to help the woman wash her hair in the kitchen sink. The girl’s father said Weinblatt had told him on Father’s Day that he was one of the best fathers he had ever known.

The relationship was far more than simply doctor-patient, far more than neighborly, the girl’s mother said. The betrayal had now shaken each member of the family to their core, she said.

“Your behavior sickens me, as it would any decent person,” she said.

Note: The name of Thomas Cranmer has been corrected.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Brent Lofgren

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

This was definitely a rough day for every person whose name appears or was withheld in this article. I'm not seeing anyone saying that Weinblatt was innocent, but instead they seem to be saying that his past performance as a doctor makes a criminal act OK. Or that the state of the economy makes it cruel and unusual to compel him to move out of the house next door to the victim. Or that because they went on record with strong and deeply held statements, calling this family victims must be qualified by adding quotation marks! Absurd. Also, it's unfortunate that so many comments violated the guidelines.

Irwin Daniels

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

Why is this comment section still opened? Most comments are/have been removed. It seems like this has no rhyme or reason. You closed one comment section today already that had 1/2 as many "blocked" comments.

Tony Dearing

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

Commenting on this story has been closed because of the high number of inappropriate comments.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

As we know, perps get off easy in Washtenaw County...and this is yet another example of justice not being served. I recall from an earlier AA dot com article that images of child porn were found on his computer. Forcing him to move is the least of it. He never should have been allowed to live in that house from the point of being arrested. I agree with other posters that he found the right attorney, pleaded no contest, and avoided having evidence presented to a jury. Unfortunately, the full extent of his crimes won't come out because of this.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

"and is likely to lose his medical license." There should be NO question that this criminal loses his medical license. The 5 years of probation is a slap on the wrist, and not nearly strong enough. He should have received the 2 years in prison.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

"However, Shelton said Weinblatt should have considered all of those consequences before acting. "You did that to yourself," he said." Absolutely. But wasn't there child porn found on his computers? Or not?

just sayin

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

@matt cooper...."Police said they found more than 100 pornographic pictures that appeared to show children and teenagers on the computers. "

Matt Cooper

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

There was no child porn found on his computer as I understand it from a previous article. They did find a web address for a site that does indeed have porn but it is not child porn, and they have several disclaimers stating that all models were over 18, etc.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

justcurious I believe the child porn charges are federal and are still pending.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

Seriously: I'd love to see expert analysis of this verdict. I can understand the reasoning, but what are the implications regarding the evidence, the plaintiff and the accused? And lets keep in mind: Dr. Weinblatt's nolo contendre plea was a clever strategy to help him avoid having the prosecution present evidence to a jury. He managed to find the right attorney, I'll say that. Now, no one can say much either way about him except that he's the subject of what amounts to a whowser protection order. -- Which may or may not work to test his future behavior.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

Where are all the Howard Weinblatt supporters that felt he was the victim? I suprised Donald Shelton let him off so easy, 5 years in gladiator school would have fit better.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

Sue? justcurious could you explain your thought process on that statement.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

The courage of this family to step forward and do the right thing, however painful, should be applauded.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Are they still wondering if he will sue the parents?


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

This letter was sent by IHA Child Health - Ann Arbor: February 3, 2012 Dear *** Family, We are deeply distressed by the revelations surrounding the personal life of Dr. Howard Weinblatt, a former member of our practice. We know this situation has been very difficult for you, our patients, as well as for us. Dr. Weinblatt's disturbing actions are in no way a reflection of our practice. From the moment we learned of the allegations, we immediately placed Dr. Weinblatt on a leave of absence and took steps to ensure the continuity of care for his patients. An internal review was conducted by an independent investigator which did not reveal any illegal conduct in the office. Two weeks ago we learned, as many of you did, that Dr. Weinblatt pled "No Contest" to the personal allegations filed against him and he will be sentenced in March. We were shocked and saddened to learn all the details of the case. His resignation has been finalized. We will continue to provide the highest quality care to our patients at IHA Child Health – Ann Arbor. We are grateful for your support. Thank you for the privilege of caring for your child/children and the trust you have placed in the providers and staff in our practice. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Sincerely, (Signed by all nine MD's, six CNP's, and one LMSW)


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:51 p.m.

This letter was sent to families of IHA Child Health - Ann Arbor. Many neighbors and friends received the same letter, personalized with our last names. This can be easily verified. could verify as well by phone: 971-9344. Myself, or anyone of perhaps hundreds of families could scan and email this to to verify ... I do see your point, that anyone could type this.

simply amazed

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

djm12652, Anybody could have, but we got the same letter a few weeks ago because our children went there as well.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

I assume it was sent to the family of DNB. Patient confidentiality and common sense keep DNB from listing a name.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

without to whom the letter is addressed or listing the actual names of those signing, anyone can type this.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

Seems fair to me. Probably not a tremendous danger to society.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

A prosecutor would not accept a plea in this kind of case unless he was sure that there was nothing else going to crop up. You can bet the police talked to his patients families. Plus, getting the story out in the open gives any other victims a chance to come forward.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

I disagree on this basis: pedophiles are notoriously clever in avoiding apprehension and conviction. In this case, you have a highly intelligent, high status man who hired a very good lawyer. The 5-year probation amounts to a five-year protection order against his coming near ONE victim. Moving him away from that one victim in no way protects other children in any future circumstances. The law prohibits police from searching again w/o cause, which means mainly: without future complaints from parents of future child victims. But maybe you're right: we can hope so.