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Title: ''Vampire'' Bush convicted of sexual crimes against underage girls

Source: The Virginian-Pilot, 9/11/96

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                               [Pilot Online]

                           NEWS - Sept. 11, 1996

''Vampire'' Bush convicted of sexual crimes against underage girls

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

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

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Jon C. Bush was convicted Tuesday of 30 sexual crimes against eight underage girls he molested as an initiation rite into his make-believe family of vampires.

Judge Alan E. Rosenblatt, who presided over Bush's two-day, nonjury trial, said he will sentence the 26-year-old Bush Nov. 26.

Bush, expected to be examined by a psychiatrist as part of a presentence report ordered by Rosenblatt, faces up to 180 years in prison.

In making his ruling, Rosenblatt said testimony in the trial showed that Bush had ``a demonstrated pattern of conduct'' that could have resulted in ``far more charges . . . against Mr. Bush than were brought.''

In all, the charges included 22 felonies and eight misdemeanors, including nine counts of having carnal knowledge, two counts of attempted carnal knowledge, nine counts of crimes against nature, two counts of taking indecent liberties and eight counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The charges stemmed from allegations that Bush had intercourse or oral sex with eight girls ranging in age from 13 to 16 from November 1995 to January of this year.

Several of the victims and members of their families said Tuesday that the matter won't be resolved for them until Bush is sentenced.

``Everyone will feel better once an adequate sentence has been given,'' said the brother of one of the victims.

``I'll settle for 100 years,'' said a 17-year-old girl who was 16 when Bush molested her in the parking lot of a mall.

According to testimony Monday, Bush had sex with the girls by recruiting them into a role-playing game called ``Vampire: The Masquerade.''

Although the vampire game was often conducted in public -- sometimes at local malls, where Bush and other participants dressed in black clothing and used black makeup on their faces -- he convinced the girls to keep the sexual activity a secret.

``I wasn't supposed to tell anybody, especially my mom,'' said one of the eight victims who testified Monday

Bush, an air-conditioning technician who lived in Virginia Beach with his mother, told the girls he was the ``elder'' vampire in the role-playing game and claimed to have special powers, such as ESP and mind-control.

Initiation into the game required that the girls be ``embraced'' in one of three ways. The way Bush most often pursued was having sex with the girls.

After bringing them into his group, Bush convinced the girls to introduce him to their friends, especially those who were ``loose'' and having difficulties with their families. Prosecutors maintained that Bush was looking for girls who would be easy targets for his sexual advances.

Sometimes, according to testimony Monday, Bush intimidated the girls into having sex with him through threats against both the girls and their families.

But Bush's lawyer, Lynndolyn T. Mitchell, said Tuesday that the girls participated willingly in the vampire group and were encouraged to exaggerate the sexual aspects of the case by zealous police investigators.

``To (the girls) it was an activity,'' Mitchell said. ``Some people like cheerleading or soccer; they were into the vampire club.''

On Tuesday, several members of the vampire family testified that the girls were willing participants in the vampire game who never showed any fear of Bush.

``It was just a game,'' said 15-year-old Kim Dillon, who explained that all of the victims she knew enjoyed being around Bush. She was not the victim of a sexual assault.

``They were always happy around him and stuff,'' she said.

``No one was afraid as far as I could tell,'' said 17-year-old Jarrod Givens, who met Bush in December and became a member of the vampire group.

But prosecutor Mike Moore said Bush did use scare-tactics with some of his victims.

``I would submit that not every single victim was terrified of him or intimidated by him, but that at least some of them were,'' Moore said.

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