Bodenweiser pleas out, no retrial

Eric Bodenweiser, 56, of Georgetown pled no contest on March 18 to two counts of third-degree unlawful sexual contact in Sussex County Superior Court.

In 2012, while he was campaigning as a candidate for the Delaware state senate, a Sussex County grand jury indicted Bodenweiser on 113 total counts, including 39 counts of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse First Degree and 74 counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact Second Degree. Those charges were eventually reduced to 14 total counts, and for the jury deliberations, the charges were reduced again.

In June 2014, a mistrial was declared in the case following nearly two weeks of testimony. The crimes allegedly took place in October 1987 and August 1990 — starting, the alleged victim said, when he was 10 years old.

In the end, the jury had been tasked with deciding if Bodenweiser was innocent or guilty of 10 counts of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse and five counts of second-degree unlawful sexual contact. The jury had the option of convicting Bodenweiser on third-degree unlawful sexual intercourse charges instead of first-degree. That lesser charge carries a two- to 25-year jail sentence instead of 20-years-to-life.

As a result of the plea on Wednesday morning, secured by Deputy Attorneys General David Hume and John Donahue, Bodenweiser will be classified as a sex offender.

“I’m glad that this has finally come to an end and I can finally move forward and get on with my life,” said the victim following the announcement of the plea.

Bodenweiser’s sentencing is scheduled to take place May 22, in Sussex County Superior Court. For each count of third-degree unlawful sexual contact, Bodenweiser could face one year of prison time and a $1,500 fine.

Bodenweiser’s attorney, Joe Hurley, could not be reached for comment by Coastal Point’s Wednesday news deadline.