Emotional Day of Testimony in Bodenweiser Trial - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Emotional Day of Testimony in Bodenweiser Trial

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GEORGETOWN, De. - Friday was perhaps the most emotional day yet in the trial against Eric Bodenweiser, the former state senate candidate, accused of molesting a young boy in the late 80's. The judge had to call for a break in he middle of testimony when the accuser broke into tears.

The day started with some housekeeping, finishing a hearing to determine whether or not the alleged victim was being coached in between testimony, something that is against the rules. The judge decided that there wasn't enough proof of any coaching, and so the regular trial resumed. 

The accuser was called to the stand for the fourth time in the week, and looked strained from the beginning of testimony. After about an hour of questioning, Joe Hurley, the defense attorney gave the alleged victim a photo of his childhood home, and started to ask questions about his mother. That was when he broke into tears.

The accuser said that he was molested on at least five instances from between 1987 to 1989 by Bodenweiser who was in his 20's at the time. The alleged victim was between 10 and 12 years old during that time period. 

Hurley questioned the accuser about inconsistencies between his past interviews and his current testimony. He pointed out dozens of facts that changed from one interview to the next or from one interview to his testimony. 
     
"My only answer is that it's been confusing and hectic this week," the alleged victim responded.

Hurley also asked questions, regarding the accuser's arrest record. Documents show that in 2011 he plead guilty to both "tampering with a witness" and "attempted strangulation" after a fight with an ex-girlfriend. The accuser said that he has since been working on controlling his temper and anger. 

Hurley also brought up the finances of the accuser. On the stand, the alleged victim admitted that he has already hired a lawyer for a pending civil suit against Bodenweiser. He also told the jury that he had money problems, but argued that he was not initiating a civil suit to make a profit.

At one especially emotional point, questioning turned towards why the accuser would keep going back if he was being molested. 

"How were you able to respect someone who can do something so vile," Hurley asked at one point. 

"I've been asking myself that for a long time," the accuser responded. 


Bodenweiser faces 14 counts of "unlawful sexual intercourse in the first degree as well as 14 counts of "unlawful sexual contact" in the second degree. If found guilty, it can mean life imprisonment. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, through cross-examination, Hurley questioned the accuser, arguing that he had contradictions in his story, including inconsistencies of certain facts from one interview to another. In particular, Hurley referenced a May 25th interview, in which the accuser gave a differing account from the initial October, 2012 interview, in regards to what type of sex act took place on which date.

Last Friday, Bodenweiser's Pastor Duane Smith took the stand, telling the jury that his congregate and friend had confessed to the crime while they were talking in privacy. Hurley argued that Smith had simply misunderstood Bodenweiser's confession. He said that his client was admitting to providing pornography to the young boy, but said that he was not confessing to anything more than that. 

The trial was expected to take about two weeks, but after a very slow start, it could significantly longer than that. Trial will resume on Tuesday with the state continuing to make their case. 
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