THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH H. Thomas
Padrick, Jr., Judge
O. Broccoletti (Randall J. Leeman, Jr.; Zoby, Broccoletti
& Normile, P.C., on brief), for appellant.
Murphy, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring,
Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.
Present: Judges Petty, Chafin and O'Brien Argued at
GRACE O'BRIEN JUDGE
Dean Bondi ("appellant") was convicted in a bench
trial of object sexual penetration, in violation of Code
§ 18.2-67.2(A)(2). The court sentenced him to
thirty-five years of incarceration with twenty-five years
suspended. Following a post-sentencing hearing, the court
also denied appellant's motion to set aside the verdict
and grant a new trial based on after-discovered evidence. On
appeal, appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence
that he "committed any act against the complaining
witness by force, threat, or intimidation." He also
assigns error to the court's denial of his motion to set
aside based on "newly discovered evidence [that] came
directly from the complaining witness."
no error, we affirm appellant's conviction.
the complaining witness, was thirty-four years old at the
time of trial. She met appellant, a youth minister at her
church, when she was in high school. M.V. described herself
as a shy and "extremely modest" teenager who did
not date or engage in sexual activity. Appellant was a mentor
and "fatherly figure" to M.V. She became close to
appellant's family and regularly visited their home. When
M.V. went away to college in Harrisonburg, she displayed
pictures of appellant's children in her dorm room.
her first semester of college, appellant asked M.V. to come
home to Virginia Beach for a weekend and babysit his
children. He explained that his wife was going out of town
and that he wanted to attend a football game. On October 26,
2001, M.V. drove to appellant's residence and babysat.
When appellant returned home, M.V. was sitting on the sofa.
Appellant put a pillow on her lap and lay down. Appellant had
never done this before, and M.V. testified that she felt
nervous and uncomfortable. Appellant reached under her shirt
and put his hand "over [her] shoulder bone." He
pulled M.V. down so that she was lying in front of him with
his arm around her.
put his hand under M.V.'s shirt again and this time
reached underneath her bra and touched her breasts. He
unzipped her pants, touched the top of her underwear, and
digitally penetrated her vagina once. M.V. testified that she
was "completely frozen and in shock" and
appellant's actions were painful and "did not feel
good." Appellant apologized and told M.V., "I love
you like a daughter but I'm also in love with you."
Appellant put his arm around M.V., and they stayed in that
position for approximately one hour.
M.V. believed that appellant had fallen asleep, she tried to
slide out from under his arm to leave. Appellant grabbed
M.V.'s arm and asked where she was going. She replied
that she thought appellant had gone to sleep, so "she
could go home." Appellant pulled M.V. back into the same
position on the sofa and said, "[N]o, stay." M.V.
testified that although appellant had used an apologetic tone
of voice earlier, he now sounded more aggressive, insistent,
and demanding. She testified that she had no option but stay.
continued to touch M.V.'s breasts and again put his
fingers in her vagina. He became more aggressive; he rolled
on top of M.V. and kissed her neck and mouth. M.V. did not
respond but lay "[c]ompletely paralyzed" underneath
him. M.V. asked appellant if he would ever engage in this
type of behavior with one of his children, and he replied
that he "hope[d] not." M.V. stated that she was
uncomfortable, and appellant responded that she needed to
leave. M.V. grabbed her keys, and appellant walked her to her
car. Appellant continued to apologize, but M.V. did not
respond. She testified that she felt "[s]haken" and
"[s]cared" and was in considerable pain.
next evening, M.V. saw appellant at a church party. Leigh
Ellen Rodriguez, an older female mentor and friend to M.V.,
noticed that she was distressed. M.V. told Rodriguez that
appellant had hurt her in a "sexual nature" and
described the incident in "broad strokes." M.V.
testified that she felt threatened and scared when she saw
appellant at the party. At trial, Rodriguez testified that
the night after the church party, she spoke to appellant
about his actions; he told her that "something had
happened," but "he didn't mean for it to
friend, Sara Olsen, drove M.V. back to college the following
day. M.V. told Olsen that appellant had placed his hands
under her clothing and "hurt [her]." She did not
provide Olsen with any further facts. At trial, M.V.
explained that her reluctance to relate the specific details
to Rodriguez and Olsen was due to her modest upbringing and
the fact that she "didn't know who [she] could
trust. One of the people [she] trusted the most and valued
the most [and] viewed as a mentor and father figure just
betrayed [her]." M.V. subsequently became depressed, her
eating disorder worsened, and her grades plummeted. She
temporarily left school the following semester.
years later, the church pastor met with appellant and M.V.
They did not discuss the details of the October 26, 2001
incident, but M.V. testified that the purpose of the meeting
was "reconciliation [and] forgiveness." M.V. stated