Guilty verdict in sexual assault trial

June 4, 2015
Benjamin Bentz, with his attorney, Ryan Maesen, during a hearing in 51st Circuit Court in April.

Benjamin Bentz, with his attorney, Ryan Maesen, during a hearing in 51st Circuit Court in April.

By Allison Scarbrough. Contributing Editor.

LUDINGTON — Benjamin Michael Bentz, 34, was found guilty on all counts of molesting a young girl following a two-day jury trial Thursday, June 4, in 51st Circuit Court.

Bentz is convicted of four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) and one count of second-degree CSC.

The victim in the case provided graphic testimony Wednesday, June 3, stating that four instances of “penile/anal penetration occurred in her bedroom in the family house in Ludington,” Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said. “She also testified to one instance of sexual contact, defendant’s fingers on her vagina (skin on skin) in conjunction with one of the penetration incidents. The incidents occurred when the victim’s mother was in jail.”

Bentz has been lodged in the Mason County Jail since his arrest last November. His bond was set at $75,000 cash/surety.

First-degree CSC, which is punishable by up to life in prison, alleges sexual penetration took place, while second-degree CSC alleges sexual activity.

Spaniola offered a plea agreement in April in which Bentz could plead to count five of second-degree CSC and an added sixth count of first-degree CSC without the victim’s age specification, then the other four counts would be dismissed. Bentz rejected the offer and went to trial.

 

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