A North Texas teacher’s aide was sentenced to 60 years in prison with no chance of parole for repeatedly raping an 11-year-old boy in the same school district.
On Friday, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson announced a jury handed down a 60 year jail sentence to Jessica Jewel Corin Benton, a former Mesquite Independent School District teacher’s aide convicted of multiple sexual assaults on the male minor.
The arrest warrant in this 2016 case stated that Benton and the boy had sexual relations approximately 10 times, according to WFAA. None of the sexual acts occurred on school property. One incident was cited as having occurred at a private residence.
Two years ago, Benton, then 26, was arrested and charged with the continuous sexual abuse of the 11-year-old boy. The victim was not her student and attended another school in Mesquite ISD. The two engaged in sex acts between May 2016 and August 2016. Benton worked at Tisinger Elementary and was employed by the school district since August 2015.
The Mesquite News reported local law enforcement only learned about the inappropriate relationship between Benton and the boy because another child, who witnessed the improper conduct, bravely came forward and reported it to his mother. She alerted Mesquite police.
During the investigation, Mesquite ISD placed Benton on administrative leave. Ultimately, Benton admitted to detectives she had sex with the boy. They took her into custody on $150,000 bail and charged her with continuous aggravated sexual assaults.
At the time, Mesquite ISD officials released a statement regarding Benton’s arrest. They said Mesquite police notified the school district about the allegations and charges lodged against the teacher’s aide. “Such behavior by an educator is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in MISD,” the district stated, in part.
Last week, Benton’s trial ran from August 21 to August 23 in Dallas County Criminal Court. Jurors heard testimony from the victim’s therapist and family. On Thursday, the jury reached a guilty verdict in less than 30 minutes of deliberation. They moved onto the sentencing phase. Benton faced 25 years to life imprisonment. On Friday, jurors returned to her a punishment of 60 years without the possibility of parole.
Following the sentencing, Dallas County D.A. Johnson released a statement. “Even though we have a dedicated Crimes Against Children unit within the District Attorney’s Office and we work with Children’s Advocacy Center and other law enforcement officials across the country, it took a small child with true courage to speak up on behalf of another child to get this investigation started,” said Johnson. “This verdict should send a strong message, especially with students returning back to school this week that crimes against children will be prosecuted by the DA’s office to the fullest extent of the law.”
Assistant D.A. Reynie Tinajero thanked Detective Brandon Snyder with the Mesquite Police Department and all of the investigators involved in this case for their meticulous work. He stated, “I am grateful for the dedication and detailed work of Detective Brandon Snyder with the Mesquite Police Department and all the investigators involved. Their work in immediately gathering and securing DNA and other valuable evidence assisted greatly in the prosecution of this case.”
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