Eric Bodenweiser, Former Delaware State Senate Candidate, Indicted On Sexual Abuse Charges

10/23/2012 04:36 pm ET | Updated Oct 23, 2012

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.

Bodenweiser, a businessman who is alleged to have committed the crimes at his family's dairy store business, defeated Sen. Joe Booth (R-Georgetown) in the September primary and had been backed by O'Donnell in the race. The News Journal reports that O'Donnell praised Bodenweiser as a “great man that deserves our support and that we need to send to Dover. Eric has the kind of character that will stand up against corruption, that will do what is right in the face of opposition, in the face of pressure.”

The Sussex Countian reported that Bodenweiser cited "personal reasons" for suspending his campaign against Democrat Jane Hovington. Former Georgetown Mayor Brian Pettyjohn (R) has launched a write-in campaign. Part of Bodenweiser's website redirects visitors to Pettyjohn's campaign site.

On Bodenweiser's campaign site, he highlights his work in forming a Sussex County chapter of the Tea Party in 2009, along with work he did in blocking the construction of a casino next door to Sussex Central High School. Bodenweiser notes that he advocated against expanding casino gaming, sports gambling and civil unions in the state, along with working for prayer at public meetings and serving on the Georgetown charter revision committee. He highlighted his time as a middle school volunteer mentor and as a Big Brothers volunteer, and his membership in the Sussex Bible Church of Harbeson, the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association and the Delaware Family Policy Council, where he says he was an advocate. He is married with children and grandchildren.

Bodenweiser said on his website that, if elected, he wanted to work on reducing taxes and fees in Delaware, writing a castle doctrine law for the state and reducing the role of state government.

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