CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – A juror is breaking her silence after a judge allowed a convicted child molester to walk free until he is formally sentenced in February.
That juror, who spoke exclusively to CBS 6 News on the condition of anonymity, told reporter Sandra Jones that she was outraged about the judge’s decision.
The woman was one of the 12 jurors who convicted the 50-year-old Robert Dodd, the former Chesterfield baseball club coach who sexually abused his own 7-year-old stepson in the 1990s.
"It was terrible. You just didn't want to look at him," the juror said.
She said she and her fellow jurors took the trial "very seriously" and recommended Dodd spend 99 years in prison after they convicted him on :
- 3 counts of Indecent Liberties with A Minor by Custodian
- 3 counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery
- 3 counts of Sodomy
The juror called the experience a "difficult" one.
"I feel he was a threat," the juror said. "It was our duty to the community... to keep him off the street."
However, moments after Dodd was sentenced and the jury was excused from the courtroom, Judge Walter Stout released him on bond until his formal sentencing in February.
That angered people living in Chesterfield County, including the juror who feared showing her face would bring harm to her family.
She believes Dodd is a flight risk -- and questions the judge's decision.
"I'm very upset," the juror said. "A judge who I thought was very fair and I really liked and I can't understand how he could let somebody out there that could possibly hurt our community."
This juror said listening to the heart-wrenching testimony from the victim was tough. And with Robert Dodd out on bond, she is now worried about Dodd's stepson and the other victims who came forward.
"I'm not the victim here -- and if I'm feeling this bad. How are those poor kids on the baseball team that he hurt? How are their parents feeling?"
CBS 6 News, who is told Judge Stout was brought in for this case, tried to reach him by phone, but had not heard back as of 6:45 p.m. on Friday.
As part of his bond, Robert Dodd has an 8 p.m. curfew, must report to a probation officer and cannot have contact with anyone younger than 18.