While on trial for repeatedly raping his own 3-year-old daughter, a West Virginia man told the judge that it was all the toddler's fault because of one simple thing she did to him.
Henry Vincent Bennett was arrested after his 3-year-old daughter divulged stomach-churning details about her sexual abuse. While speaking with child advocate Cindy Lambert, the child reportedly formed Play-Doh into the shape of male genitalia, telling the caseworker that her daddy had put his penis "on her butt."
Immediately, police arrested Bennett for sexually abusing his daughter on at least two separate occasions. However, instead of confessing to his heinous crimes, Bennett went before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope and tried to justify his actions, placing the full blame on his own child all because of what she allegedly did.
According to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bennett claims that the two sexual encounters with his 3-year-old — one involving a sex toy and another involving oral sex — happened "accidentally," adding that it was the child's fault because she had begun performing oral sex on him without his knowledge. He alleged that he mistook the 30-pound girl for his nearly 200-pound wife both times.
"I was laying on my back," Bennett said. "I thought it was April, and when I rolled over (child) yelled."
Bennett accused the toddler of sneaking into his bedroom and initiating oral sex on him, causing him to believe that his wife April Bennett was performing the sex act. He further expounded the incident, alleging that his wife had been performing oral sex on him before going to the bathroom. He claimed that the child then slipped into the bed and started engaging in oral sex until he realized that she was not his wife. However, this was only the second time he sexually abused his daughter.
Henry Vincent Bennett claimed that the first time he sexually abused his daughter was also an accident. Bizarrely, he told investigators that he had mistakenly penetrated the child with a sex toy in her anus, though this was not further explained.
Fortunately, the court wasn't buying Bennett's disturbing excuses. After the closing arguments, the jurors deliberated for less than half an hour before announcing that they had reached a verdict. Bennett was found guilty on 2 charges of first-degree sexual assault, 2 charges of sexual abuse by a parent, and 2 charges of incest.
Initially, April Bennett was charged as an accessory to her husband's sick abuse. However, she eventually took a plea deal, allowing her to plead guilty to a lesser charge of child neglect creating a risk of serious bodily harm or death, according to the Daily Mail.
Thanks to this deal, April had years shaved off of her possible sentence. She was then released on bail. She could be facing one to five years in prison.
Because of the severe penalties associated with such crimes in West Virginia, Bennett faces 80 to 270 years in prison if the sentences run consecutively. A hearing for motions and possible sentencing has been scheduled.
Disturbingly, Bennett will likely serve out his sentence while maintaining his innocence at the expense of the little girl he sadistically raped. However, as long as his sentence goes as planned, he'll never be able to hurt another child again.
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