Former Delaware Senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser will stand trial on charges that he had unlawful sexual contact with a teenage boy 20 years ago.
Appearing in Delaware Superior Court in Georgetown May 21, Bodenweiser rejected the state’s final plea offer and elected a jury trial, which will start at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 27.
Flanked by attorney Eric Mooney, Bodenweiser said, “It’s a decent holiday when you have the lord Jesus Christ in your heart,” before answering Judge E. Scott Bradley’s questions as to whether Bodenweiser understood what he was doing by going to trial. The plea offer from the state was not read in open court.
Mooney said Bodenweiser understands that by having a jury trial, he faces mandatory 15-year sentences on each of the 39 counts of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse he is accused of – essentially, life in prison. Bodenweiser is also facing 74 charges of second-degree unlawful sexual contact.
Bodenweiser is the former Republican candidate in Georgetown’s 19th Senatorial District. He defeated incumbent Joe Booth in a primary, but later withdrew after a grand jury indicted him for sexually abusing a boy in Sussex County between October 1987 and August 1990, when the boy was between 10 and 13 years old.
Bodenweiser has declared his innocence and has been out on bail since October 2012, with GPS monitoring.
The seat Bodenweiser ran for was won by Republican and former Georgetown mayor Brian Pettyjohn.