Former GOP candidate arrested for child rape

I do not know how I missed this in the news the first time around:

Eric Bodenweiser, a former Republican candidate for the Delaware state Senate with ties to Christine O’Donnell and the Tea Party, was indicted Monday on charges that he sexually abused a child.

Bodenweiser, who suspended and then ended his campaign earlier this month, was indicted on 113 felony charges, including 39 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and 74 counts of unlawful sexual contact, according to The News Journal. Bodenweiser is currently being held pending bail on charges that he sexually abused the victim between 1987 and 1990.

What makes this particularly irony is that Bodenweiser is (or was) a member of the Delaware Family Policy Council. The group tackles such issues as “… crime, poverty, divorce, unwanted pregnancies, academic failure, and teen suicide.”

Here is a man who opposes anything that violates God’s values and laws, and it turns out that he spent three years raping a child 25 years ago.

It gets worse. Bodenweiser has connections with Christian Christine O’Donnell of “I’m not a witch; I’m a person” fame. In an interview, she defended Bodenweiser:

That’s why these sort of, charges are so, are so, potent as political weapons because they put a seed of doubt in someone’s mind. If you do it as an October surprise, there’s not enough time between when they throw the bomb on Election Day for the truth to really emerge and, um, it’s just, it’s tacky and it’s what’s happened to our political system.

She said that in response to a question about Bodenweiser’s arrest.

This marks yet another time a Tea Party candidate has said something stupid about rape. One must wonder what goes through their minds, if anything, in order to make them say these kinds of obviously idiotic comments.

At what point does it not dawn on O’Donnell that Bodenweiser is charged with child rape? That is not an “October surprise”; it is a felony. Correction, it is several felonies. Does she not know that you do not mock or trivialize child rape? And to call it “tacky” for the authorities to take a young man’s accusation seriously and arrest Bodenweiser?

There is another thing at play that some people without much sense might find ironic: Bodenweiser is anti-gay. Or course, homosexuality has nothing to do with child rape. Most people who abuse children are heterosexual, and the homosexual people who do commit child abuse do so because of their attraction to children or opportunism, not because of their sexuality. Anyone aware of basic sexual orientation politics should know this, and that makes Ozy Frantz’s comments about Bodenweiser rather strange:

Without excusing Mr. Bodenweiser’s heinous acts, they are the natural outcome of his attraction to men and his beliefs about homosexuality. After all, if gay men are sick and evil, if many of them molest children, if the very act of being attracted to people of the same gender is something God loathes and a sign that you were damaged… if you believe you’re evil already, you might end up molesting a thirteen-year-old. After all, you already risk being an outcast in your community and separated from your God if you act upon your desires. It’s not like molesting children makes it any worse… and the kid might not speak up.

It’s horrible. I do not condone it. And the rape culture here is something I intend to fight.

Um… no.

None of that makes any logical sense. We do not know what Bodenweiser thinks, let alone what his sexual orientation is. We do not know the circumstances behind the abuse or what prompted it to end. There are scores of gay men and women who feel conflicted about their sexuality because of their faith who never go on to abuse children because “it’s not like molesting children makes it any worse”.

For Ozy to make that argument smacks of ideological stupidity. It is a leap that appears to have been made solely to bring in that last bit about “rape culture”, which itself makes no sense. The young man reported Bodenweiser and the police later arrested the former candidate. It would appear then that the authorities believed the boy and took him seriously since they indicted Bodenweiser with 113 felonies. There is no “rape culture” at play.

There is, however, a lot of stupid ideology at play, from Bodenweiser and O’Donnell to Ozy Frantz. Perhaps it is time to set the ideologies aside since it does not seem they do anyone any good.

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14 thoughts on “Former GOP candidate arrested for child rape

  1. No-one can be perfect all the time, and ozy is mostly good and informed.

    I think that Rape Culture should be expanded to include men and boys. In fact the first recorded use of the term was by black male prisoners in the 40’s, My source was Wikipedia, but that has been “updated”.

  2. “”For Ozy to make that argument smacks of ideological stupidity.””

    That is the first time I have seen the verb “To Be” rendered as “Smacks Of”. Must be an emergent idealogical grammar thing! P^)

    I do think that it’s time for some to take a break, as they are evidently getting carried away and the “Good Rape Project” … sorry … the “Bad Man Project” ….. or is it the “Put ALL Men Down Project” might get back on mission and there may even be some stuff about good men!

    It’s hard work but someone has to do it – and it can only be hoped that Lisa H recovers soon to reign in some of the Editorial Ideology that is being allowed to run riot. It would appear that others lack the capacity and a wise head and business acumen is needed.

    … and they have started on gay men now too! If they carry one like this they will have no friends left in the yard!

    Sauce – Goose – Gander – Double Standards and ideological stupidity are like that! It seems to be a growing endemic – and when that starts it’s all over apart from the lost page hits and plummeting ad revenues! Alexa just keeps showing the trends – and they are ALL in the wrong direction.

  3. Um, innocent until proven guilty.
    Here’s the indictment:

    http://www.delawareonline.com/interactive/article/20121023/NEWS01/121023016/DOCUMENT-Bodenweiser-Indictment

    Notice something: every single count in the indictment is Unlawful Sexual Contact 1st degree or Unlawful sexual contact second degree. Nothing else. No charges involving force, no charges involving kidnapping , no charges involving drugs or coercion, no “grooming” charges, or indeed any of the various other things that people such as Sandusky have been charged with.

    This is known as “stacking” and is something I always look for when I’m looking into wrongful prosecutions. The whole goal is to coerce a plea. It’s also going to be hard to prove innocence given that this is a prosecution over some things that allegedly happened over 20 years ago. Do you have a diary or witnesses or a video or audio recording for everything you did over a 3 year period two decades ago?

    What I would suggest for everyone is that they decline to prejudge the case one way or the other.

  4. Oh, and I think the term “rape culture” should be retired. It should be replaced by something like “elements of the culture that support rape”, for the culture contains parts that are very very negative toward rape and not just parts that are promoting of it. “Rape culture” pressuposes that the balance of elements in a given culture support rape, and I very much doubt this is the case.

  5. Clarence, if you read the specific charges, many of them pertain to Bodenweiser anally and orally raping the then 11-year-old boy. It appears prosecutors are charging Bodenweiser under a currently repealed law. From what I can tell, the current version of that law is § 769. Unlawful sexual contact in the first degree; class D felony. That law states:

    (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual contact in the first degree when:

    (1) In the course of committing unlawful sexual contact in the third degree or in the course of committing unlawful sexual contact in the second degree, or during the immediate flight from the crime, or during an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime, the person causes physical injury to the victim or the person displays what appears to be a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or represents by word or conduct that the person is in possession or control of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

    (2) Repealed.

    (3) The person intentionally has sexual contact with another person who is less than 13 years of age or causes the victim to have sexual contact with the person or a third person.

    (b) Unlawful sexual contact in the first degree is a class D felony.

    They charged Bodenweiser under the prior version of the law likely because of the boy’s age. That does not mean that no violence or threats were made, only that the charges are based around the victim’s age.

    As for whether the boy has evidence of something that happened 20 years ago, it is possible. I doubt that he does, however, lack physical evidence is not proof that no abuse occurred. I can remember being 18 months go, and I can certainly remember being 9-years-old and the things that were done to me. I do not think the time it took for the person to come forward is a valid reason to disbelieve the accusations.

  6. TS:
    I never said that one should disbelieve or believe the accusations, merely that one should be careful with this.
    Also, damn right I’m going to look askance at all allegations that are over 5 years old and come out during an election. If you have a skeptical bone in your body, you would too. How very convenient.
    And I refuse to believe they had no other laws for him to be charged with if he committed violence or used force to kidnap the alleged victim.
    No, they are charging him based on each alleged incident of sex, almost certainly because they literally have nothing else to charge him with. And the alleged victim probably couldn’t remember each and every time, so he probably gave the authorities his few specific memories (assuming he’s telling the truth) and then estimated the rest.

    This doesn’t seem like a very strong case to me.

  7. Clarence, we do not know when the accusations were made. The young man could have reported the abuse months before the election and it simply took that long for the police to act on it.

    As for the police having no other evidence, that is possible and probable, however, that does not mean that the man’s story is not convincing or that nothing happened. Certainly it is difficult every instance of something twenty years later. Yet I am sure you can, for instance, recall going to school when you were 11-years-old and give a general account of how whether you were bullied and who did it to you. The same logic applies in this situation, and I am hesitant to believe that people lie about child abuse without an apparent reason.

    There does not appear to be anything this young man will gain from making a false claim.

  8. “…alleged incident of sex…”

    Clarence, could we not lump anal penetration of an 11 year old boy by a man in with consensual sex between adults? That kind of makes you look bad in my eyes. There’s a lot of reasons why we complain about the former and not the later here. And the law regards them utterly differently.

    As for the rest, I trust the process, investigation, charges… are sound as far as they go. He’s legally innocent until proven guilty, yes. It’s complicated.

  9. TS:
    Here’s my explanation:
    Just what ELSE is he being charged with? Is it alleged he forcibly held the alleged victim down? Is he being accused of physically injuring his victim? Drugging his victim?
    No, he is being accused of having sex with his victim where the victim was too young to consent – in this case for good reason.
    He’s being accused of statuatory rape , in other words, and the only offenses charged are offenses involving sex – not violence.
    So what else am I supposed to say?
    Literally anything else I WOULD say is hearsay and not based on the charges anyway, and except for the charges themselves details are scarce.

    I’m sorry, but unlike with Sandusky (where we have specific acts besides normal consensual sex not only described but charged ) I can’t think of any terms at this point that don’t sound rather clinical.

    I suppose if you want you could say he is an alleged child rapist from 20 plus years ago. What else should we call him?

    I know I can call him one OTHER thing: “screwed”. And this whether he is guilty or not.

  10. Clarence, Delaware counts any sexual intercourse with a child under 13 as rape regardless of whether there was any violence. That is just how the law is worded. All the states have similar laws. If a person assaults a child under a certain age, that assault automatically counts as rape, not statutory rape.

  11. Yes indeed charges alone like this are extremely damaging. And I dearly hope there’s a lot of careful investigation to a lengthy degree that would constitute legal evidence. I don’t (and I see the indictment doesn’t detail) know anything about this specific investigation, or even these kinds of investigations generally (i.e. legal evidence of CSA w/o any physical evidence). So it just all seems like speculations on your part Clarence. Informed by what? Are you a sex crimes prosecutor? Maybe it’s police misconduct, perhaps it’s a strong case, or weak, politically motivated, who knows? What’s generally the case for this sort of thing? IDK

    I’m not a fan of SOL reform and legal remedies to CSA generally because of complexities like this poses. Wrongful accusations are a serious problem. As is CSA. Sometimes it’s clearly pretty clear IMO. Sandusky. But long, expensive and complicated.

  12. In treating Mr Bodenweiser as guilty, you have defamed him and undermined his right to the presumption of innocence.

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