Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

January 30, 2013

Benson pleads out

Deal made in 2008 sexual assault case

Corsicana — Although testimony continued Wednesday morning in the trial of Larry Benson, by noon it had fallen apart. Following lunch, Benson pleaded out to a Class C assault. He will have to pay a $500 fine, and respect a “Do Not Contact,” order.

The plea bargain was at the request of the woman who accused Benson of rape, and who has spent a day and a half on the witness stand. The woman is not being named because of the nature of her outcry.

“Based on the direction of the trial and at the victim’s request, the defendant was allowed to plead to assault, and the state is not proceeding on the sexual assault,” said District Attorney Lowell Thompson.

The woman had accused Benson and Albert Krivaqa of raping her upstairs at Napoli’s Oct. 19, 2008. Krivaqa has already been to trial and found guilty.

This case, however, was different. It’s been more than four years, and the woman’s testimony varied from the four previous statements she gave to police back in 2008.

She described an evening of drinking and dancing with friends, first at Black Jack McCanless’, then at Napoli’s. At Napoli’s she met two men and eventually ended up in a bedroom on the second floor. After leaving there in the early morning hours she cried rape. Initially, she said she thought she’d been drugged, but in this trial she just said she felt ill.

The woman had described symptoms of a headache, fever, neck ache, and confusion that night, but in testimony Wednesday morning, she was asked to go into more details. Why didn’t she leave the bar if she felt bad? Why did she speak in Spanish to the two men she met in the bar? If she felt bad, why did she dance with Krivaqa? Why didn’t she phone a friend for a ride? How did she get on top of Benson? If she screamed, why didn’t anyone in the next room hear her?

Eventually, the woman sat in the witness seat with her lap piled high with her various written statements, trying to reconcile those with the testimony she gave Tuesday. By noon, she was evidently done with the matter.

Afterwards, Lewis said the Class C was all they would accept in a plea bargain.

“I just felt like it would be reckless to not accept that,” he said. “I still feel like Larry didn’t do anything.”

The multiple inconsistencies were what eventually wore down his client’s accusor, Lewis said.

“When she made it clear she had not been drugged, that it was the effects of alcohol, and she’d only had two Jack and Cokes and two beers, it didn’t seem to make it very plausible,” Lewis said. “I think her story crumbled.”

Thompson said it wasn’t an ideal outcome, but it was necessary to prevent further trauma to the witness.

“Sometimes the welfare of the victims outweighs my preferred outcome in these cases,” Thompson said.

—————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • 7-31-14 Fire2.jpg Deputies, fire departments have busy weekend

    An attempt to bootleg electricity off a pole using jumper cables is believed to have caused a building fire that took out a former restaurant in Angus Friday morning, one of a series of calls to Navarro County Sheriff’s Office to the southern end of the county over the weekend.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Rice ISD Alex Stough mug.jpg Rice students win UIL scholarships

    Three Rice High School students received UIL scholarships for competing in academic competitions at the state level, according to advisor Alan Lewis.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Collin Main signal.jpg Signal finally fixed

    It took a couple of months to get the parts, but the signal light at Main and Collin streets in downtown Corsicana is finally up and working again.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Poll: Americans cool to border-crossing children

    SAN DIEGO — Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.

    July 30, 2014

  • 7-30-14 4-H robotics.jpg Science made simple

    Hats out of old newspaper and leftover wrapping paper, simple robots out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands and pencil erasers, a microcosm of the aquifer made of root beer and ice cream — with a dollop of chocolate syrup. These were among the fun science projects at Tuesday’s 4-H Discovery Days event at the Navarro County Youth Expo.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • County: No increase in city subsidies

    As budget talks continue at the Navarro County Courthouse, one consensus that’s been reached will impact budget planning at the Corsicana Government Center.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30-14 AthensFire.jpg Senate report finds fault with government inspection of chemical facilities

    WASHINGTON — The government has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it considers to be at a higher risk for a terror attack and has underestimated the threat to densely populated cities, congressional investigators say.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-30-14 Club-Rotary gov.jpg Club News

    News and announcements submitted by clubs and organizations throughout Navarro County.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Beat 7/30/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County.

    July 29, 2014

AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Twitter Updates