Man Arrested For Lewd Acts With Children, Bixby Police Say

Tuesday, September 1st 2015, 6:22 pm
By: News On 6

A Bixby man, accused of inappropriately touching teens during photo shoots, is now behind bars. Thomas Wehde was arrested at his home for lewd act charges.

Police said he liked to do underwater photo shoots at the pool at his home.

They believe there could be up to 14 young victims who Wehde inappropriately touched. So far two victims have come forward, but police are asking more parents to talk to their kids.

Wehde, 60, lives right in the middle of a Bixby neighborhood filled with kids and teens.

Police said Wehde would lure young girls over to his house to swim in his pool, which often led to photo shoots.

Wehde told police they were innocent, but Detective Sergeant Andy Choate believes otherwise.

"We believe the picture is just part of a process to gain the child’s trust," he said.

One teen told her mom she had been touched inappropriately by Wehde multiple times.

"Wehde was entrusted to watch over her, she swam at his house. He took photos of her and provided some to her family, which they believed everything to be above board," Choate said.

But when a second victim came forward police executed a search warrant at his home and confiscated USB drives, photos and much more.

Detectives said Wehde has had a career in photography and took pictures of the young girls with the parents’ permission, but the parents never paid for photos.

Police said sometimes the shoots were at his home, and other times at different locations.

Choate said Wehde would make a copy of some of the pictures and give it to their parents on a CD, but he didn't hand them all over.

"It appears the majority of the people believe he was trustworthy. He came across as a sincere guy, someone who a lot of these parents would entrust their safety with," Choate said.

The girls have clothes or bathing suits on in all the pictures, so he's not facing any pornography charges, but he does face three counts of lewd acts.

If you believe your child could have been a victim of Whede's, you’re asked to call the Bixby Police Department at 918-366-8294.