Former Anderson Cop Pleads Not Guilty in Federal Court; Women's Refuge Responds
A former Anderson Police Officer once accused of rape and who served time for felony assault, pleaded not guilty to new charges at a federal courthouse in Sacramento on Tuesday.
The FBI arrested 28-year-old Bryan Benson in Redding on Monday.
The U.S. Attorney's office said he violated a Millville woman's civil rights by sexually assaulting her on the way to jail in 2010.
The newest charges accuse Benson of depriving the woman of her constitutional rights under color of law, obstruction of justice and false entry on an official record.
The Executive Director of the Shasta Women's Refuge, Jean King, said they are impressed by the amount of support they have received and the efforts made to take this case to a higher level.
She said it is difficult for the victim of any sexual assault crime to come forward, let alone, when it involves someone in law enforcement.
Often times, she said the victims feel alone and afraid that law enforcement will no longer be there to protect and help them.
King said in this case, it is important to also look at Benson as a person, not just as an officer. She said it is clear that Benson is not the type of person they want to represent what law enforcement stands for.
"We just want to know that it's not accepted, law enforcement doesn't accept it and [it] gives courage to other women to come forward when it happens," King said.
King said many cases like this don't go very far so this case sends a loud message to victims. She hopes it will give others the strength to tell someone if they are ever in a similar situation.
Brian Benson is scheduled back in court on December 21 for a detention hearing.
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