Benavidez Pleads Guilty


Randall County District Attorney James Farren says, "you can't abuse your office."

He says sexual harassment cases in the work place can sometimes be a fine line.

In the case of former Swisher County Sheriff Emilio Benavidez, Farren says the accusation of the  history of activity between 2 victims, and the inappropriate discussion that was video taped by a victim led him to believe Benavidez made the right plea August 18th. 

"Mr. Benavidez entered his plea of guilty and he was found guilty, placed on probation for a year."

He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor official oppression charge, alleging he sexually harassed a female former Swisher County employee.

As a condition of his probation, Benavidez will serve 30 days in the county jail, a $500 fine, community service, as well as attend counseling programs.

Farren tells us,"we're glad we were able to reach this disposition because again, it's always difficult for the victims, it's embarrassing to have to appear in a public court room and talk about what happened and i'm glad they didn't have to do that." 

He says the victim in this case agreed with the plea deal 

Another part of the plea deal, besides no victims testifying was giving up the maximum sentence.

He was facing up to a year in the county jail, and a $4,000 fine.

Benavidez will begin his 30 day jail sentence on Friday.

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