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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Bodenweiser facing 100+ counts in child sex abuse case

  • Former State Senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser was charged today with more than 100 counts related to child sexual abuse.
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  • Former State Senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser was charged today with more than 100 counts related to child sexual abuse.
    A Sussex County grand jury handed up an indictment on Monday charging the 53-year-old Georgetown Republican with 74 counts of second-degree unlawful sexual contact and 39 counts of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse, according to a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Justice.
    Bodenweiser turned himself in to state police at the Sussex County Courthouse immediately after the indictment was handed up.
    He is being held at the Sussex County Correctional Institution in Georgetown on a $250,000 secured bail, officials said.
    If Bodenweiser posts bail, he will be required to wear a GPS monitoring device and subject to pre-trial supervision by the Delaware Division of Probation and Parole.
    Monday's indictment is the culmination of a weeks-long investigation by Delaware State Police into reports that Bodenweiser had sexually abused a child.
    According to the indictment, all of the alleged abuse occurred in Sussex County between October 1987 and August 1990 when the victim was under the age of 16.
    Bodenweiser, who defeated incumbent Joe Booth in the Sept. 11 Republican primary, formally withdrew from the District 19 state senate race last week.
    That announcement came just days after Bodenweiser suspended his campaign amid reports that he was under investigation by the state police.
    He stopped returning phone messages earlier this month and did not answer the door at his Georgetown home Oct. 12.
    Rumors of the police investigation became widespread after Bodenweiser failed to appear at numerous campaign events following a Sept. 27 fundraiser in Georgetown with former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell.
    The state and Sussex County Republican committees have since endorsed Brian Pettyjohn, a former Georgetown mayor who filed as a write-in candidate on Oct. 1. Pettyjohn will face Georgetown Democrat and community activist Jane Hovington in the Nov. 6 general election.
    Ed Heath, a Bridgeville Republican who attended Bodenweiser's fundraiser last month, said he was left dumbfounded by the news of the indictment against Bodenweiser.
    "We don't know the whole story, so there's always a chance he could be found innocent," he said. "But we're definitely disappointed by this. If he had this skeleton in his background, he never should have run because everything gets brought out in the wash."
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