A veteran children's talent manager pleaded not guilty Thursday to sexually abusing a former client as police sought the public's help in investigating whether he victimized other aspiring young performers.
Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Martin Weiss, 47, of Santa Monica with eight felonies stemming from his alleged abuse of a boy who was trying to break into the music industry.
The alleged victim, now 18, told police last month that Weiss molested him from age 11 to 15.
The alleged victim came forward because he was concerned his former manager might be abusing others, police said, and provided officers a recording of a recent conversation in which Weiss acknowledged the sexual contact.
Neither Weiss, jailed on $800,000 bail, nor his attorney, Richard M. Hansen, could not be reached for comment. If convicted of sodomy and other charges, Weiss could face 34 years in prison, according to the district attorney's office.
Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Topanga station, who are leading the investigation, believe that before opening his management company, Weiss performed in costume at children's birthday parties.
"Investigators share the victim's concerns and are requesting anyone else who may have been assaulted by Weiss to come forward" by calling (818) 756-3375, the LAPD said in a statement.