Sex-Abuse Charges Sinks Del. GOP Pro-Family Candidate
A Republican politician who was running for the Delaware State Senate has been charged with 113 counts of sexually abusing a boy more than two decades ago. He has pleaded not guilty, Delaware’s Cape Gazette reports.
According to reports, Eric Bodenweiser, 53, has been charged with raping a boy 39 times during a three-year period. The politician faces 74 charges of second-degree unlawful sexual contact and 39 charges of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse.
Delaware’s News Journal reports that Bodenweiser was a "rising star in conservative politics" and was a Republican candidate for the State Senate until he was indicted by a grand jury Monday. He is being accused of raping a boy between October 1987 and August 1990 when the alleged victim was between the ages of 10 and 13.
The alleged victim is now 35 years old and lives in Florida, the Gazette reported. In an email to the publication, he wrote that he could not discuss the case but said it was "not politically motivated."
The publication claims the alleged victim has a criminal record as he was arrested in Florida in 2010 and charged with domestic battery by strangulation and tampering with a state witness. According to documents, he is on probation after he pleaded guilty. Victims of childhood sexual abuse often themselves turn to domestic violence as adults.
After Bodenweiser turned himself into Delaware State Police on Monday, he posted his $250,000 bail. But Superior Court Judge E. Scott Bradley ordered the politician be monitored by a GPS and watched by officials.
Bodenweiser, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, is a prominent member of the Delaware Family Council, a conservative organization that opposes gay rights and is connected to Focus on the Family. He is also a local businessman and helped operate his family’s convenience store chain until it was sold in 2001.