The law provides that continuous sexual abuse, which includes sexual contact and sexual assault of a young child or children, on more than one occasion, over a period exceeding 30 days, must carry a minimum sentence of 25 years. Criminal District Attorney Russ Thomason stated “The continuous sexual abuse statute is now the most effective tool in Texas law to keep sexual predators of young children locked up without parole and out of our communities, thereby preventing additional victims.”
Thomason and Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Bill Dowell, represented the State at the trial, and Paul Lewallen of Ft. Worth, represented the Defendant.
This case marked the second life sentence in two weeks involving child sexual abuse.
Previously on September 24, 2013, William Rainey of Gorman also received a life sentence for Indecency with a Child.
Thomason stated after the trial, “ In my eleven plus years of public service in Eastland County as Criminal District Attorney, I have experienced many excellent citizen jurors who have stepped up to protect this community.
The 12 citizens who were on this jury could not have made a more emphatic statement of this community’s intolerance for sexual abuse of young children in returning such a quick verdict. Assistant Criminal District Attorney Bill Dowell remarked “ When Judge Herod assessed the maximum sentence of life, he also made impressive and appropriate remarks to Benton, chastising him for his conduct.
It is gratifying to serve a community where the jury and judge treat a predator of this magnitude with appropriate justice.”