REDDING, Calif. - A former Northstate police officer accused of raping a woman on her way to jail was in court Friday for a detention hearing. A federal judge ordered Benson to remain in federal custody without bail.
Benson is being federally indicted on several counts including deprivation of rights under color of law, obstruction of justice and false entry in a record or document.
The indictment was filed on Dec. 5 and was sealed under court order of the judge. The indictment was unsealed on Monday after the defendant, Bryan Benson's, arrest in Redding by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The deprivation of rights count essentially argues the sexual assault was an "unreasonable search and seizure," a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The obstruction of justice count came about when Benson allegedly tried to intimidate and persuade the assault victim into not reporting the sexual assault and not identifying Benson.
Benson is also accused of changing a legal document, stating that he had arrived at the Shasta County Jail eight minutes before he had actually arrived.
Benson, was sentenced in Dec. 2011 to 365 days in jail and three years probation for charges including kidnapping and sexual assault.
Investigators at the time said that in May of 2010, Benson was taking a woman suspected of D.U.I. to the Shasta County Jail in Redding, when he pulled into a parking lot and raped her.
He originally faced six felony charges in the case, including rape and kidnapping. But in September of 2011, Benson took a plea deal, pleading guilty to modified charges of one felony count of assault by a public officer and one misdemeanor count of soliciting a lewd act.
Prosecutors said they dropped the rape charge due to a loophole in the law that says a person in jail cannot consent to sexual activity. Defense lawyers found the loophole in the fact that the law doesn't say anything about people being "transported to jail." Prosecutors said they had no choice but to reduce the charges.