SOMERSET COUNTY, New Jersey, August 30. A crime committed 17 years ago has caught up to Joe Weber, as the on-deck consultant for the Somerset Valley YMCA swim team has been fired after his conviction of sex with a minor was revealed recently.
Weber pleaded guilty to having oral sex with a 14-year-old girl he was coaching in Philadelphia in 1995, according to an article on the news website nj.com. He received a seven-and-a-half-year sentence, and served five before being released on parole. Weber had been working with the Somerset YMCA for six years as a strength and conditioning consultant for the team before being relieved of his duties on July 30.
Weber's crime went unnoticed by the Somerset YMCA largely because Weber was only registered as a non-coach member with USA Swimming during the 2009-2010 season, according to USA Swimming spokesperson Jamie Fabos Olsen. In that season, non-coach members did not have to undergo the stringent background checks that have been in place since January 2011 to prevent convicted criminals from working with young swimmers on deck.
“The safety and well-being of children in our care has always been and will always be a top priority of the Somerset Valley YMCA,” team CEO Paul Kieltyka told nj.com in a statement.
According to an article on philly.com detailing Weber's conviction in 1995, Weber and the female swimmer met at Lansdale Swim Club in Philadelphia in 1994 with the initial premise of getting the swimmer motivated to enroll at the prestigious Germantown Academy. Soon after, the conversations became sexual in nature. The article also mentioned that at the time of the trial, Weber was being treated for borderline personality disorder.
Somerset Valley YMCA has had a successful summer season, qualifying Mike Vernoia for the Olympic Trials and sending a large team to the YMCA summer nationals, where the combined team finished in fifth place.