United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Former Anderson Police Officer Arrested on Civil Rights Charges for Sexually Assaulting Woman While Transporting Her to Jail
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, December 10, 2012
Docket #: 2:12-cr-423 GEB
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Anderson Police Chief Michael L. Johnson announced that former Anderson police officer Bryan Robert Benson, 28, was arrested today at Shasta County Probation Office at 1525 Court Street in Redding.
The federal indictment, unsealed after the arrest today, charges Benson with a federal civil rights offense in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a woman he had placed under arrest on May 29, 2010. Benson is charged with depriving her of her constitutional rights under color of law. He is also charged with obstruction of justice and causing a false entry in an official record. The obstruction charge is based on an allegation that following the assault, Benson instructed the victim not to report it. The false entry charge is based on an allegation that, 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 did arrive.
Benson pleaded no contest in Shasta County Superior Court to assault by a police officer and engaging in a lewd act. A plea to state criminal charges, however, does not preclude the federal government from prosecuting Benson for the same conduct. After thoroughly investigating the case, the United States Attorney’s Office sought and obtained approval from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute Benson for violations of federal criminal law. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. in Sacramento.
This case is a product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assisted by the Anderson Police Department, the Redding Police Department, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and the Shasta County District Attorney. Assistant United States Attorneys R. Steven Lapham and Michelle Prince, and Trial Attorney Chiraag Bains of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Benson faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Giving Back to the Community through a variety of venues & initatives.
Afraid your child is being bullied or is bullying others? Find helpful resources at: www.stopbullying.gov