VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A former Virginia Beach youth pastor has been found guilty of object sexual penetration.
Jeffrey Bondi, a former Virginia Beach youth pastor, was accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old girl who was a member of his church youth group.
Lawyers on both sides presented their closing arguments Thursday before a judge ruled on the case.
There were tears on both sides as the judge announced the verdict that Bondi was guilty.
The victim told the court he used his hands to commit the crime back in 2001. That’s when Margaret Anne Viola was a freshman at James Madison.
She considered the Bondis to be almost like family and said Bondi was like a father. Bondi was her youth pastor. She came in town to babysit for the Bondis and when Bondi got home, she said he sexually assaulted her on the couch.
In her testimony Wednesday, Viola claimed Bondi, at one point, laid behind her and put his arms around her. She claims Bondi put his hands up her shirt, before unbuttoning and unzipping her pants.
Bondi’s attorneys admitted he had inappropriate contact with the victim, but said the contact did not go that far.
The defense argued that she had plenty of chances over the years to tell people close to her of the alleged incident, but never did.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle tweeted Thursday that Bondi could face between five years to life in prison when he sentenced Oct. 10.