Bodenweiser Pleads No Contest, Could Face Jail Time - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bodenweiser Pleads No Contest, Could Face Jail Time

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GEORGETOWN, Del.- Eric Bodenweiser, the former state senate candidate accused of molesting a young boy in the late-80's could now face jail time. In court Wednesday, Bodenweiser plead "No Contest" on two counts of unlawful sexual contact in the 3rd degree.

Each count calls for up to $2,300, one year in jail or both. On top of that, the Department of Justice said that Bodenweiser will now be classified as a sex offender. His attorney, Joe Hurley, explained why they took the deal.

"Four words," he said. "Potential of life imprisonment."

A "No Contest" plea essentially means that Bodenweiser maintains his innocence. However, it signifies that he understands that a jury is likely to find him guilty if the case went to trial.

Bodenweiser's legal troubles began in 2012, when he won a primary for a position in the state senate. In the aftermath, an alleged victim said that Bodenweiser had molested him on many occasions from 1987 to 1991, when Bodenweiser was in his 20's. His first trial began in the summer of 2014, ending in June with a hung jury and a mistrial.

Following the first trial, Bodenweiser successfully received a change of venue, and trial was set to begin in April in Kent County. Just weeks away from the trial, the plea came as a shock to many in the legal community. Hurley explained why they made the decision.

"When you're facing life imprisonment," he said. "I mean put yourself in that place. 'Hey - if this goes the wrong way - I'm spending the rest of my life in prison. You're always open to suggestions."

Meanwhile, in a statement provided to WBOC by the Department of Justice, the alleged victim said he's just "glad that this has finally come to an end," and that he "can finally move forward and get on with (his) life."

Sentencing will be on May 22nd, and in the time before that Hurley said he is going to formulate an argument as to why Bodenweiser should not be registered as a sex offender.

"The test is whether or not he is a quote 'threat to public safety' close quote," he said. "And if a person comes and says through expert testimony 'he's not a threat to anybody.' And the judge says 'ok. I'm satisfied' - you don't become a registered sex offender.

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