Weston podiatrist found guilty of molesting babysitter in 2012

Dr. Augustine Bollo faces up to 15 years in prison when sentenced

By Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Derek Shore - Reporter

WESTON, Fla. - A Weston podiatrist was found guilty by a jury Friday of molesting a 15-year-old girl who he hired in 2012 to babysit his four children.

Closing arguments began in the morning with the defense asking the judge to give the jury the option of considering a lesser charge of battery in addition to the lewd and lascivious molestation on a minor charge that Dr. Augustine Bollo already faced, and the judge agreed.

The state, meanwhile, summarized its case and the victim's testimony.

The state also asked the jury to not consider the lesser charge of battery because Bollo did not hit or strike the victim, instead the state claims he forced or enticed her to touch him sexually.

The prosecutor also mentioned again a meeting in a park where Bollo appeared to apologize for the incident to the girl's mother.

"The defendant grabbed her hand and put it on his bare penis," prosecutor Kerrie Harper said. "The penis was covered by the blanket, but she testified for you that she felt his penis. She knew because she had felt a penis before, bare skin to bare skin. He forced her hands around his penis and whispered, 'Come on, come on.' And this happened not once but twice. And then (he) paid her money, way more than just for babysitting, and told her not to talk."

Bollo testified in his retrial Thursday and claimed that he never put his hands on the woman, who was 15 years old when she used to babysit his children in 2012.

Prosecutors said that he put the victim's hands on his genitals while she was babysitting his four children and then offered her $200 to keep quiet.

"No hand appeared anywhere," Bollo said. "This girl never touched my penis. She never saw my penis; felt my penis. It never happened."

Bollo said he apologized to the girl's mother at the park, in a conversation which was secretly recorded by police, because he wanted the whole ordeal to be over with.

"The most dangerous thing I think I have heard in a courtroom was said and that is, 'Well, I need an apology and I would do whatever I could do to get a confession,'" Bollo's attorney, David Bogenschutz, said.

The defense then called the victim's honesty and promiscuity into question, but the state countered that she is a minor and Bollo is an adult. 

"Consent is not a defense," Harper said. "(The teen's) bad judgment is just bad judgment. His bad judgment is a crime."

A mistrial was declared in Bollo's first trial in February after prosecutors played an audio recording that they should not have.

He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced.

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