The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
‘Brother Ed,’ former church youth mentor, admits he is a child molester
BY KEITH EPPS
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
A Spotsylvania man admitted Thursday that he molested a teenage boy he met at church and was mentoring.
Edward Vincent Zottoli, 61, pleaded guilty in Spotsylvania Circuit Court to taking indecent liberties with a child and four counts of non-forcible sodomy.
He will face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced by Judge David H. Beck on Feb. 5.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Amanda Sweeney, Zottoli was mentoring boys at Christian Outreach Tabernacle Church in Spotsylvania when he met the 14-year-old victim.
Zottoli, known as “Brother Ed,” met the boy about six months before the incident took place. In addition to counseling the boy, he bought him a bicycle and provided the boy and his brother such things as shoes.
On June 20, Zottoli picked up the boy and his brother and took them to spend the night his home on Short Circle in Spotsylvania.
At about 11 p.m., court records state, Zottoli asked the boy to sleep in his bedroom instead of on the couch. His brother was in a guest room.
Zottoli was naked when the boy came into the bedroom. He asked the boy for a massage and later was involved in sex acts with the boy.
Zottoli later told the boy he was sorry and asked for forgiveness. The boy agreed to forgive him, and Zottoli told him not to tell anyone what had happened.
But the next day, Zottoli went to the church and told the pastor and a deacon what had happened with the boy. The boy’s parents were notified and the Sheriff’s Office was contacted.
Detective Twyla DeMoranville said Zottoli came to the Sheriff’s Office June 21 with a deacon and confessed to having relations with the child.
Asked why he did it, according to court records, Zottoli said he is affected by a “foul spirit, an abomination from the pit of hell.”
He also told DeMoranville that he had sexually abused teenage boys in Holland in the 1960s when he was in the military and that he’d been molested when he was a child.
Zottoli, who is being held in the Rappahannock Regional Jail, is being represented by attorney John Spencer.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404