CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone called a Chesterfield judge's decision to let convicted sex offender Robert Dodd go free pending his sentencing unusual. But Stone added in the end -- that decision is left to the judge’s discretion.
The judge made the ruling after former Chesterfield Baseball Club coach Robert Dodd was found guilty of nine charges of sodomy, indecent liberties with a minor while in a custodial or supervisory role and aggravated sexual battery. The jury of 11 women and one man recommended Dodd serve 99 years in prison.
What surprised some viewers though, was the judge granted Dodd bond until his formal sentencing in February.
"The charges to begin with are considered violent in nature," Stone said. "So there's a presumption against bond even at the outset of all this. Once you’re found guilty though, a judge normally remands custody to the sheriff because the flight risk goes up dramatically."
Some of those who accused Dodd in the past were friends of Dodd’s stepson and on the same baseball team.
"It's devastating,” former Pony League baseball coach Bill Harding said. "The whole situation is sad. I feel terrible for the children involved and for the guys and ladies out here coaching youth sports on a predominately volunteer basis. You hate to see it because they are mentors trying to help."
Dodd will have to report to a probation officer, has an 8 p.m. curfew, and cannot have contact with anyone under the age of 18.
In previous trials, Dodd was acquitted on two prior sex charges which involved an intoxicated teenage girl.