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Former Police Officer Indicted and Arrested on Civil Rights Charges for Sexually Assaulting Woman While Transporting Her to Jail

This news story was published on December 14, 2012.
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WASHINGTON—Bryan Benson, a former Anderson, California, police officer, was arrested today on charges of deprivation of civil rights for sexually assaulting a woman while transporting her to jail and of trying to conceal his criminal conduct, announced the Justice Department.

Benson, 28, was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of California and unsealed today. He is charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of causing a false entry to be made in a document or record with the intent to impede investigation into his conduct.

The indictment alleges that on May 29, 2010, Benson sexually assaulted the arrested woman, resulting in bodily injury and involving aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping. The indictment further alleges that Benson obstructed justice by warning the woman not to report the crime and that he caused a police dispatcher to falsely record his location in the dispatch logs in an effort to conceal his offense.

If convicted, Benson could face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the deprivation of civil rights charge, and 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on both the obstruction and false-entry charges.

This case is being investigated by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Steven Lapham and Michelle Prince for the Eastern District of California and Trial Attorney Chiraag Bains from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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