Dec 12, 2014 3:19 PM by News Staff
A former Anderson police who sexually assaulted a woman while she was in custody was sentenced to five years in federal prison Friday.
In May of 2010, 30-year-old Bryan Benson reportedly sexually assaulted a woman he had placed under arrest. While Benson was transporting the victim to jail, he stopped in a parking lot and sexually assaulted her. Benson instructed the victim not to report it, and in order to impede any investigation, he reported to a police dispatcher that he and the victim had arrived at the Shasta County jail approximately eight minutes before they actually arrived.
Benson was fired from his position with the Anderson Police Department as a result. He was charged with state crimes to which he pleaded guilty and has served one year in jail. He pleaded guilty to the federal civil rights violation charges on May 30, 2014.
The one-year state prison sentence he received led lawmakers to close a loophole in state law that allowed Benson to avoid a longer penalty because the assault occurred before the victim was booked. At the time, the law didn't extend to arrestees who were being transported to jail.
Anderson Chief of Police Michael L. Johnson stated: "The City of Anderson, Anderson Police Department, and the Shasta County community have suffered through the horrific aftermath of this inexcusable crime. Mr. Benson's breach of trust and abuse of authority cripples the foundational integrity of law enforcement. We fully support the US Attorney's decision and the prosecution of Benson."
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