GEORGETOWN, Del. - Eric Bodenweiser, a former candidate for the Delaware State Senate, was in court Friday, facing charges of molesting a young boy in the late 80's. His pastor testified on the first day of court, saying his congregate and friend confessed in October, 2012 to the molestation. Bodenweiser's attorney said his client maintains "absolute denial," arguing the pastor simply misunderstood what he was confessing to.
Bodenweiser was running for state senate in 2012, when a 37-year old man accused him of molesting him when he was a young boy between 1987 and 1990. The accusation derailed Bodenweiser's campaign, and lead to his eventual indictment.
His pastor, Duane Smith from the Sussex County Bible Church in Harbeson, appeared to be visibly troubled on the stand, but he stood by his assertion that Bodenweiser confessed.
"I did it," Smith said repeating what Bodenweiser had told him.
Bodenweiser's attorney, Joe Hurley, said the pastor was simply confused, saying his client was actually admitting to another sin.
"There has to be an explanation from that word confession," he said. "We will agree that there is a quote - confession - close quote. Which is why I asked the pastor is it wrong and a sin for an adult to show a juvenile movies depicting oral sex with naked women." Hurley said Bodenweiser was actually confessing to that sin. He said that his client admitted to providing pornography to the child, calling it a bad judgment call. However, he said he never molested the young boy.
The state attorney gave a detailed and graphic description of the molestation, talking about multiple instances of oral and anal sex. The victim said he stayed quiet about the molestation for decades out of embarrassment, but decided to speak out when he saw Bodenweiser was running for office. Hurley said the alleged victim could not be trusted and was not a credible witness.
"I think he is going to be constantly shown to be something less than he should be to be a good witness for whatever reason," he said. "Poor memory, drug use, who knows why. Or just lying."
Bodenweiser faces 14 counts of first degree "unlawful sexual intercourse," as well as 14 counts of second degree "unlawful sexual contact." If found guilty, he could face up to a life sentence in Sussex County. The trial continues on Monday.
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