Chesterfield man convicted of sexually abusing stepson did something ‘inappropriate’ while on bond

Posted at 9:47 PM, Mar 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-31 17:46:45-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield man found guilty of sexually abusing his stepson is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning after a jury recommended he serve 99 years in jail.

Former baseball coach Robert Dodd was found guilty in November of 2014 of sexually abusing his stepson in the 1990s.

Dodd had previously been to trial on charges that he allegedly sexually assaulted a former baseball player he coached, and a female that he allegedly fed  alcohol before she passed up and then awoke to him assaulting her.

He was found not guilty in both of those cases, but he does still have two additional cases of a similar nature pending for trial, according to the Chesterfield County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.

Family members of Dodd’s stepson, along with family members of other alleged victims from those two previous cases and the two pending cases, and a juror were outraged when Judge Walter Stout allowed Dodd to walk out of the courtroom free on bond until his sentencing hearing several months later.

“I’m very upset, a judge who I thought was very fair and I really liked, I can’t understand how he could let somebody out there that could possibly hurt our community,” said a juror, who wanted to remain anonymous.

A month after a jury found Dodd guilty, on Dec. 15,  family members of the victim and alleged victim contacted CBS 6 after reading an email sent to them by Prosecutor Susanne Bielaski.

In that email, Bielaski writes about “some events that had occurred” while Dodd has been on bond that she considered “inappropriate.”

She goes on to say in the email that she asked the judge to modify or revoke Dodd's bond, and a hearing was held where Stout was upset, but he found Dodd had not “technically” violated the conditions of his bond.

Stout opted to put Dodd on house arrest, instead of jail, a decision that, once again, upset the alleged victim’s families.

Fatima M. Smith, who works with victims of sexual abuse at the YWCA Richmond, explained why.

“Survivors might think the justice system isn’t protecting them…this may compromise the survivors safety as well as their family being able to feel safe,” Smith said.

So, what exactly did Dodd do that upset the prosecutor?

CBS 6 went to the Chesterfield Courthouse, but, when we asked to see the prosecutor’s motion, we were told it had been sealed by the judge.

CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone called the move “unusual.”

“Normally the reason you would seal it is to keep the jury panel from being tainted,” Stone said. “It’s totally within the judge’s discretion to seal it, and since we don’t know the facts because it’s sealed, it’s a little difficult to speculate about it,” Stone said.

Both Stout and the prosecutor declined to comment on case.

CBS 6 reached out to Dodd’s attorney, but never heard back.

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