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Title: As trial opens, prosecutors say Virginia Beach ''vampire'' wanted sex

Source: The Virginian-Pilot, 9/10/96

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                               [Pilot Online]

                           NEWS - Sept. 10, 1996

As trial opens, prosecutors say Virginia Beach ''vampire'' wanted sex

BY JON FRANK, The Virginian-Pilot
Copyright 1996, Landmark Communications Inc.

VIRGINIA BEACH -- He called himself a vampire, but it wasn't blood he was after.

Jon C. Bush was looking for sex. The 26-year-old air-conditioning technician was on the prowl for girls with family difficulties who were easily manipulated into accepting his Dracula-inspired pickup lines, according to prosecutors.

Bush's trial in Virginia Beach Circuit Court began its first day of testimony Monday. Witnesses portrayed Bush as relentlessly pursuing sex with a string of junior high and high school girls late last year and early this year.

``He wanted to target young girls, and he wanted to target young girls whose circumstances would make them easy to overpower,'' said prosecutor Mike Moore during opening comments Monday in Bush's sex-crimes trial.

Bush, the self-described ``vampire'' of Virginia Beach, is being tried without a jury before Judge Alan E. Rosenblatt. He faces more than 180 years in prison on 31 charges. Eight of the charges are misdemeanors; 23 are felonies.

Eight of his alleged victims -- ranging in age from 14 to 17 -- testified Monday that Bush recruited them into sexual interludes during a three-month period in late 1995 and early 1996. He used his red sports car and Virginia Beach home as seduction sites, they said.

The girls testified that Bush tricked them into sex by convincing them to join his ``family'' with a variety of stories about a vampire role-playing game he called ``The Masquerade.'' He claimed, they said, that it gave him occult-like powers of extra-sensory perception, seduction and mind control.

He talked the girls into introducing him to their friends, the girls testified. He was especially interested, they said, in girls who were ``loose'' and came from troubled families.

Once he was introduced to the girls, they said, Bush told them that in the vampire game he was an ``elder'' who needed to re-energize himself by ``feeding'' on others.

The girls testified that he gave them names like ``Little One,'' ``Sylvana'' and ``Desiree'' and threatened them with ``vampiric death'' if they did not submit to his wishes. And he scared them into secrecy by threatening their families, they testified.

But most importantly to Bush, he told them that to be a part of his family, young girls had to be ``embraced.'' That meant one thing to Bush, the girls testified: sex.

``He said people do what he says and they have to do what he says because there are consequences in the family,'' testified a 17-year-old who said she had her encounter with Bush in his car in the parking lot of Greenbrier Mall. ``He said he would embrace me within the next one-half hour whether I liked it or not. He said he was the master of seduction.''

The girls testified that Bush embraced his victims in one of three ways: marking, which he did by giving them a hickey beneath the breast; blood, which he accomplished by an exchange of blood between himself and the girl; or sex, which included intercourse, oral sex, or both.

It was sex that Bush most often pursued, according to Monday's testimony.

One victim, who was 15 at the time, testified that Bush came to a window of her parents' house in Virginia Beach and convinced her to climb through the window and join Bush in his car. The girl testified that as they drove away, he forced her to give him oral sex.

``I was so scared that I did what he said . . . '' -- and when she tried to stop, she testified, ``he would not let me.''

In all, the girl testified that she met and had sex with Bush five times. Although she was frightened by his sexual aggression, she was more frightened by his threats, she said.

``I was scared of him and felt he had power over me. I didn't want him coming to my house and hurting somebody.''

Another girl, who was 16 at the time, said she met Bush just before Christmas last year through a friend. Her first sexual encounter with Bush was at his house, she said.

``He said he needed to feed and he wanted to feed on me sexually,'' the girl testified.

Later he asked her to introduce him to her friends.

``He said he was looking for females so he could feed,'' the girl said. ``He wanted ones who were easy and promiscuous and ones who were able to stay out with parents who were slack.''

Bush was arrested after one of the girls in January told her mother about his attempts to engage her in sex. The woman contacted officials.

After the last of the girls testified Monday, prosecutors rested their case. The defense is expected to begin its case today.

Lynndolyn T. Mitchell, Bush's attorney, said during opening comments Monday that Bush was being ``singled out'' by police. She said Bush was one of several people playing the vampire game in Virginia Beach and operating a role-playing family.

Police, she said, made pleas through the news media for girls associated with Bush to come forward. Once identified, Mitchell said, the girls were strongly encouraged by police to bring charges against Bush.

``They were somewhat threatened to come forward,'' Mitchell said.

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