Former Virginia Beach youth minister gets 10 years for sexually assaulting babysitter – The Virginian-Pilot

Former youth minister Jeffrey Bondi was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday for sexually assaulting a woman who had once been a member of his youth groups and frequent babysitter for his children.

The term was pronounced by Circuit Judge Thomas Padrick, the same judge who found Bondi guilty of felony sexual penetration at the end of a two-day trial in June. State sentencing guidelines had suggested a sentence of seven to 15 years.

More than 160 letters were submitted to the court on Bondi’s behalf. Some were from inmates who had spent time with him in jail as he awaited trial.

The judge also received testimony from prosecutors regarding two other teenage sexual assaults that Bondi was accused of committing several years ago.

This evidence included a statement from a woman who said she was assaulted by him in 1992 when she was 18, a report from child protective services about an assault on a 15-year-old girl in a Young Life bus in 1997 and a letter from the victim’s 15-year-old mother about the adverse effects of the incident on her daughter’s life.

“At the time, you were pretty much a serial sex offender and nobody did anything about it,” Padrick said before handing down his sentence. “It’s just amazing.”

Bondi’s assault for which he was convicted on Tuesday occurred in October 2001 at his home.

Bondi was at the time a 32-year-old youth minister at the Galilee Episcopal Church and had worked as a regional director for Young Life Virginia Beach.

The victim, Margaret Ann “Mav” Viola, was 18 and babysitting Bondi’s children that night. The Virginian-Pilot does not generally identify victims of sexual assault, but Viola agreed to have her name published.

The defense called three witnesses at the sentencing hearing: a former inmate who was housed with Bondi when he was in prison, a lawyer who worked with him at a charitable foundation and James Michael McAdoo, a friend of Bondi and a Christian school alumnus from Norfolk. standout who now plays in the NBA. All spoke of the good work Bondi has done over the years and the many people he has helped as a mentor.

Viola was the only witness called by prosecutors. She read a lengthy statement in which she describes how she has suffered emotionally and physically since the incident.

“I would say you have impacted almost every aspect of my life,” Viola said. “You are nothing less than a monster to me.”

While reading the statement, Viola frequently looked at Bondi from across the courtroom. He, in turn, kept his eyes fixed on the defense table in front of him. Bondi suffers from Parkinson’s disease and frequently shakes with tremors.

Bondi also read out a statement in which he apologized to Viola and her family for his “inappropriate behavior”.

“Margaret Ann, I am deeply sorry for what I did to you 16 years ago,” he said. “I know I hurt you in many ways. It pains me to think of all the ways you suffered.”

Viola, now 34 and working as a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles, told the trial that she had recently started her freshman year at James Madison University when Bondi called and asked if she was going in Virginia Beach this weekend to babysit her three youngsters. children.

His wife, who was expecting their fourth child, was going out of town to attend a wedding, and he wanted to go to a football game, she said. Viola said the children were sleeping when Bondi came home and sat next to her on the couch. After talking for a while, he lay down next to her, touched her and penetrated her with his fingers.

Viola reported the assault to a Galilee Church employee the next day. Bondi was asked to resign soon after, but the incident was not reported to the police. Investigators only learned about it last year, when a Virginia Beach pastor, a longtime friend of Bondi and Viola, reported it to police.

Viola said afterwards that she was happy with the sentence.

“I feel good about it,” she said. “Most importantly, I feel like he will have a watchful eye on him for the rest of his life.”

Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, [email protected]

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