Prosecutors to retry Bodenweiser

Former state Senate candidate remains on house arrest
July 15, 2014
Eric Bodenweiser, accompanied here by his wife Pattie, will be retried on charges that he sexually molested a 11-year old boy 25 years ago. Bodenweiser's first trial ended in a mistrial. BY RON MACARTHUR

Prosecutors announced July 15 they intend to retry Eric Bodenweiser, whose first trial ended last month in a hung jury.

"The Department of Justice has decided to move forward with the case and retry Eric Bodenweiser," said Department of Justice spokesman Joe Rogalsky.

A new trial date has yet to be determined. Rogalsky said Bodenweiser would be tried on the same charges as he was in his first trial: 10 counts of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse and five charges of second-degree unlawful sexual contact.

A Sussex County jury was unable to agree on a verdict on any of the 15 charges against the former state Senate candidate, so Judge E. Scott Bradley declared a mistrial in the case.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for about nine hours before telling Bradley they could not reach a verdict.

Because the charges had not been resolved, they remain in place and Bodenweiser has remained under house arrest.

The charges against Bodenweiser were reduced during the course of the first trial, resulting in the 15 charges he now faces.

The jury also had the option of convicting Bodenweiser on third-degree unlawful sexual intercourse charges instead of first-degree; the lesser charge carries a 2-to-25 year jail sentence instead of 20 years to life on the original charges.

Shortly after winning the 2012 Republican primary in the 19th Senate district, Bodenweiser was indicted on charges he molested an 11-year old neighbor  25 years ago, when he was living in Frankford. Bodenweiser's accuser is now 37 years old and living in Florida.

Bodenweiser's accuser took the stand at the earlier trial and detailed how he said Bodenweiser had raped and molested him on numerous occasions over a three-year period. Bodenweiser's attorneys, Joe Hurley and Eric Mooney, pointed out inconsistencies in the victim's story; the accuser eventually admitted lying to police about not knowing Bodenweiser's estranged brother, Paul.

Prosecutors David Hume and John Donahue presented testimony from Bodenweiser's pastor, Duane Smith, who testified that Bodenweiser confessed to him that he had oral sex with the accuser.