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  1. #1
    belimom's Avatar
    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
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    GA - Man charged with child molestation after asking about girl's panties

    I do think this man was up to no good, but I wonder how those charges can stick, kwim? (I guess the gun doesn't help...)

    Man Accused Of Approaching Toddler At Chastain Park

    The woman said Benson told her daughter she had a pretty dress, then asked “if her panties were pretty and matched her dress,” according to police.

    The officer who responded found Benson was carrying a loaded handgun in his front pants pocket. Benson denied asking the girl about her underpants. Police said the girl was not hurt or touched by Benson.
    ............
    Police impounded Benson’s vehicle and charged him with child molestation.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/26997322/detail.html
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by belimom View Post
    I do think this man was up to no good, but I wonder how those charges can stick, kwim? (I guess the gun doesn't help...)
    Oh, he was up to no good, that's certain. No man asks about a little girl's panties, especially not with a gun tucked into his clothing! I am grateful LE reacted by charging him with something, but they'll never get a conviction for molestation if he didn't touch the little girl!

  3. #3
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    I definitely think he was at that park to molest a child, but it doesn't look like he succeeded, thanks to that mom calling LE. Maybe there is a lesser molestation-type charge in that state or city that makes it a crime to approach a child with intent to molest or something or even to go to a public place with intent? I don't know. Hard to prove, I would think.

  4. #4
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    I do not understand how they arrived at these charges. How is it child molestation if all he did was ask her a question? And seriously, it may be an inappropriate question, but I'm not even sure that there's a charge for that! He denies asking her, so did this mother just totally overreact? I would be more suspicious if the girl was 14 or even 9, but 2? Toddlers wear cute outfits all the time with matching bloomers that are meant to show. That could easily be what he meant, especially since many 2yos are still in diapers.

    Walking around with a loaded gun and making conversation with toddlers makes me more concerned about his health or living conditions than immediately making the jump to child molester.

    I talk to kids all the time, flirt with babies, and wave to little kids in cars. Good thing I'm a middle aged white woman so people generally think it's nice.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    I do not understand how they arrived at these charges. How is it child molestation if all he did was ask her a question? And seriously, it may be an inappropriate question, but I'm not even sure that there's a charge for that! He denies asking her, so did this mother just totally overreact? I would be more suspicious if the girl was 14 or even 9, but 2? Toddlers wear cute outfits all the time with matching bloomers that are meant to show. That could easily be what he meant, especially since many 2yos are still in diapers.

    Walking around with a loaded gun and making conversation with toddlers makes me more concerned about his health or living conditions than immediately making the jump to child molester.

    I talk to kids all the time, flirt with babies, and wave to little kids in cars. Good thing I'm a middle aged white woman so people generally think it's nice.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    If I understood the article correctly, he did not even approach the little girl directly. He told her momma that the dress was cute, and did her panties match? That would freak me out if I was the momma, but I'm not sure that I would call LE over something like that......I'd probably argue with myself and tell myself "maybe he is slow" "maybe he has aspergers or some other condition that causes him to have poor social skills" etc.

    Thankfully this mother did not waste time arguing with herself! The gun in his pocket, and the fact that he was visiting a park so far from his home are convincing arguments, at least in my opinion, that this man needs to be thoroughly checked out!

    However, I don't see a conviction on these charges. I'm wondering if he was charged with a "high end" crime to give LE time to investigate the man's past and maybe search his computer, while insuring that the man is safely locked away from all children.

  6. #6
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    sorry! somehow double posted....

  7. #7
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    How far is Stone Mountain Georgia from this Atlanta park? He told the police he traveled there because he was afraid to get mugged. Thus the loaded gun? Does he have a license to carry? I don't see he ever lived in Kennesaw home of every home owner has to own a gun.

    The child was on a swing. She's two. I'd assume the mother was pushing her on the swing. What full gronw man goes up and asks if the child's panties match the dress? Is he a stylist? A designer. grown men will tell little girls they look pretty in their dresses, but they don't go about asking after bloomers or underwear.

    Truthfully I probably wouldn't have called the cops but then again being in a large park at a playground alone with my toddler maybe I would if some old dude asked that. I say mom did the right thing. Not sure of the charges, but there's no overeacting to me. Not when a man is at a playground talking about kids panties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Filly View Post
    How far is Stone Mountain Georgia from this Atlanta park? He told the police he traveled there because he was afraid to get mugged. Thus the loaded gun? Does he have a license to carry? I don't see he ever lived in Kennesaw home of every home owner has to own a gun.

    The child was on a swing. She's two. I'd assume the mother was pushing her on the swing. What full gronw man goes up and asks if the child's panties match the dress? Is he a stylist? A designer. grown men will tell little girls they look pretty in their dresses, but they don't go about asking after bloomers or underwear.

    Truthfully I probably wouldn't have called the cops but then again being in a large park at a playground alone with my toddler maybe I would if some old dude asked that. I say mom did the right thing. Not sure of the charges, but there's no overeacting to me. Not when a man is at a playground talking about kids panties.
    A couple of things jump out at me here. First, Chastain is a huge park, very popular, busy with runners and walkers and sports even on the most grey, winter day. On Tuesday it was BEAUTIFUL!!! Like, crazy pollen count in February beautiful. If there weren't a hundred people within earshot I'd be shocked. So it isn't like some strange man walked up to a helpless young mom in a deserted parking lot.

    Second, Chastain isn't a terribly long car ride from Stone Mountain, but it isn't close by either. It is a destination for a lot of people. Like I said, big beautiful busy park. The area around Stone Mountain (not Stone Mountain Park, but the living areas) is kind of known for crime and gang activity, lots of low income housing, etc. I wouldn't blame him for not wanting to go for a walk there. If he has lived in ATL for a long time, he may have good memories of Chastain.

    I don't think it's crazy for her to have called the police. The man was definitely acting strangely, and he would have made me extra aware. I just think child molestation charges here are ludicrous and could have a lasting impact on this man, where he is able to live in the future, etc. over a question that may have just been phrased weird. For all we know, he didn't even say that. There is no mention of witnesses or other complaints, so this woman may have just freaked over a strange guy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    A couple of things jump out at me here. First, Chastain is a huge park, very popular, busy with runners and walkers and sports even on the most grey, winter day. On Tuesday it was BEAUTIFUL!!! Like, crazy pollen count in February beautiful. If there weren't a hundred people within earshot I'd be shocked. So it isn't like some strange man walked up to a helpless young mom in a deserted parking lot.

    Second, Chastain isn't a terribly long car ride from Stone Mountain, but it isn't close by either. It is a destination for a lot of people. Like I said, big beautiful busy park. The area around Stone Mountain (not Stone Mountain Park, but the living areas) is kind of known for crime and gang activity, lots of low income housing, etc. I wouldn't blame him for not wanting to go for a walk there. If he has lived in ATL for a long time, he may have good memories of Chastain.

    I don't think it's crazy for her to have called the police. The man was definitely acting strangely, and he would have made me extra aware. I just think child molestation charges here are ludicrous and could have a lasting impact on this man, where he is able to live in the future, etc. over a question that may have just been phrased weird. For all we know, he didn't even say that. There is no mention of witnesses or other complaints, so this woman may have just freaked over a strange guy.
    If there were "a hundred people within earshot" I guess he'll have no trouble making his case. The baby (2 year old) who was raped at Sea World this week had hundreds of people within earshot too. It didn't save her from being abused (recorded even).

    I probably wouldn't have called, but I would have kicked myself for a week replaying the event in my head. I'm glad she did the right thing -

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCoastMom View Post
    If there were "a hundred people within earshot" I guess he'll have no trouble making his case. The baby (2 year old) who was raped at Sea World this week had hundreds of people within earshot too. It didn't save her from being abused (recorded even).

    I probably wouldn't have called, but I would have kicked myself for a week replaying the event in my head. I'm glad she did the right thing -
    The baby raped at Sea World was left with that person by her mother. Hardly the same thing as a long haired, bearded stranger approaching this woman, who could have screamed her head off and had plenty of help at hand.

    Like I said, I don't blame her for calling. I just think child molestation charges are absurd unless there is a LOT more to this story.


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    Not that I don't appreciate the fact that the law seems to be cracking down on sex offenders, but I'd appreciate it a little more if they were actually going for sex offenders that have offended.

    Maybe they charged him, hoping they can get him to plead to a lesser charge like harassing or accosting a child, but let's be reasonable here. As creepy as it was, this guy did not commit a sex offense. Guilty of being a creep, yes, but he never actaully did anything. I appreciate the response in one way, because it means that people are paying attention, but on the other hand, this kind of thing runs the risk of lessening the title of "child molestation", and that's not really a title that needs to be cheapened. IMO.
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.

  12. #12
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    Police confiscated a black Ruger 380 pistol, for which Benson had a legal permit. The pistol, found in his pants pocket, contained seven rounds of ammunition, according to the police report. He was also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
    It's a little confusing, since Georgia doesn't require a permit to own a handgun, but you do need one to carry. Do they mean he had a carry permit, I wonder? He wasn't charged with carrying the gun, but with carrying it while committing a felony (asking about the panties?)

    Benson approached them and told the child that she had on a pretty dress. The child said that the dress was pink, and Benson then asked if her panties were pretty and matched her dress . . .
    I almost hate to write this, but I can see how this could be totally innocent. If this guy has daughters or granddaughters, he could have heard a lot of women ooooh-ing and aaaaw-ing about dress-matching panties. When I was little, that was the height of little girl style. I mean, it could have been meant in a creepy way, but it's not necessarily lewd, and it was said with her mom right there.

    The suspect . . . is not a convicted felon or a sex offender, a records search by police revealed. He was not on probation, or were any warrants found against him.
    http://buckhead.patch.com/articles/m...-chastain-park

    Either there is much more to this story, or I think this guy is being railroaded.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    A couple of things jump out at me here. First, Chastain is a huge park, very popular, busy with runners and walkers and sports even on the most grey, winter day. On Tuesday it was BEAUTIFUL!!! Like, crazy pollen count in February beautiful. If there weren't a hundred people within earshot I'd be shocked. So it isn't like some strange man walked up to a helpless young mom in a deserted parking lot.

    Second, Chastain isn't a terribly long car ride from Stone Mountain, but it isn't close by either. It is a destination for a lot of people. Like I said, big beautiful busy park. The area around Stone Mountain (not Stone Mountain Park, but the living areas) is kind of known for crime and gang activity, lots of low income housing, etc. I wouldn't blame him for not wanting to go for a walk there. If he has lived in ATL for a long time, he may have good memories of Chastain.

    I don't think it's crazy for her to have called the police. The man was definitely acting strangely, and he would have made me extra aware. I just think child molestation charges here are ludicrous and could have a lasting impact on this man, where he is able to live in the future, etc. over a question that may have just been phrased weird. For all we know, he didn't even say that. There is no mention of witnesses or other complaints, so this woman may have just freaked over a strange guy.



    Thank you for all the information angelmom. I wasn't sure if it was a huge park with nobody around or what.

    Steadfast weighed in on the gun. I get that now. I just always go back to Kennesaw making you own a firearm if you reside there. I was thinking "heck Philly would love that law, alrightie". I understand carrying during a crime though. However did he commit a crime?

    Me? If he truly did say that I'd be freaked. "Your dress is pretty, honey" certainly, but not a reference to the panties. O/T but not I dressed my DD in dresses often. I was one of those 'Keep a little girl like a little girl" kind of people. While still even in diapers and beyond I bought tons of those eyelet over the diaper/underwear fancy pants. People do comment on little girls when they are dressed. certainly older people who were used to that in their day. However, never did anyone ask about the panties. No way.

    Maybe he didn't say it? Maybe he did? Guess we'll see if there are witnesses.

    Oh Stone Mountain, Georgia is rough, eh? I had no idea.

  14. #14
    belimom's Avatar
    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
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    I don't see molestation unless there's more to it.



    Georgia Child Molestation Law (bbm):

    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/sex06.htm

    16-6-4. Child molestation; aggravated child molestation.

    (a) A person commits the offense of child molestation when he or she does any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person.


    (b) A person convicted of a first offense of child molestation shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. Upon such first conviction of the offense of child molestation, the judge may probate the sentence; and such probation may be upon the special condition that the defendant undergo a mandatory period of counseling administered by a licensed psychiatrist or a licensed psychologist. However, if the judge finds that such probation should not be imposed, he or she shall sentence the defendant to imprisonment; provided, further, that upon a defendant's being incarcerated on a conviction for such first offense, the Department of Corrections shall provide counseling to such defendant. Upon a second or subsequent conviction of an offense of child molestation, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten years nor more than 30 years or by imprisonment for life; provided, however, that prior to trial, a defendant shall be given notice, in writing, that the state intends to seek a punishment of life imprisonment. Adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence for a conviction of a second or subsequent offense of child molestation, including a plea of nolo contendere, shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld.

    (c) A person commits the offense of aggravated child molestation when such person commits an offense of child molestation which act physically injures the child or involves an act of sodomy.

    (d) A person convicted of the offense of aggravated child molestation shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 30 years. Any person convicted under this Code section of the offense of aggravated child molestation shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Sections 17-10-6.1 and 17- 10-7.
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  15. #15
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    Re ^^posts^^ could it be the way he said it, along with where his hands were at the time? I think most of us know "that look" - if someone gave it to my child, I'd want him arrested too - combined with hands in pockets or on crotch would remove all doubt of his possibly innocent intentions.

    While we know perps are seldom caught on first attempts, 65 seems old for this kind of deviant behavior to start. Possibly some sort of age related brain disorder, that caused him to make the comment in a letch-like-manner? IDK - I realize I'm grasping here...

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