The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Church ‘mentor’ accused of molestation in Spotsylvania
By KEITH EPPS
A Spotsylvania County man is accused of molesting a teenage boy he met in church and was supposed to be mentoring, police said.Edward Vincent Zottoli, 61, was arrested Thursday by Detective Twyla Demoranville and charged with forcible sodomy and four counts of indecent liberties with a child.
According to Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Harvey, Zottoli has been mentoring boys at Christian Outreach Tabernacle Church in Spotsylvania. A 14-year-old boy he had befriended spent the night at Zottoli’s home on Short Circle over the weekend, along with the boy’s brother.
The boy’s parents contacted the Sheriff’s Office Wednesday, Harvey said, and an investigation began immediately. The boy reported that Zottoli, known as “Brother Ed,” asked him to sleep in the bed with him while Zottoli was nude.
He then asked the boy for a massage and sexually assaulted the boy, according to the allegations.
DeMoranville and social worker Regina Johnson interviewed Zottoli and got evidence consistent with the boy’s story, Harvey said. Zottoli showed up at the Sheriff’s Office with his pastor to turn himself in even before the warrants were obtained, Harvey said.
Police said Zottoli, who lives by himself, reported also having contact with other boys he was counseling and buying them gifts. He also referred to similar activities years ago in another country while he was serving in the military, police said.
Harvey said the investigation is ongoing and asked that any other juveniles who have had improper contact with Zottoli to call the Sheriff’s Office at 582-7116.