Former Swisher Co. Sheriff Headed to Jail

Former Swisher Co. Sheriff Headed to Jail

Emmett Benavidez Expected to Plead Guilty to Misconduct
CANYON -- A former Swisher county sheriff is headed to jail after reaching a plea deal.

    Emilio "Emmett" Benavidez is expected to plead guilty to official oppression charges Monday.

    The charges stem from a 2011 incident in Randall county in which Benavidez allegedly exposed himself to a female employee.

    As part of the plea deal, Benavidez is expected to be given a one year probated sentence.  But, he will have to do some jail time.  30 days in the Randall county jail.

    The alleged victim, Cassie Pointer, claims she was asked by "then" sheriff Benavidez to accompany him to Randall county in 2011 to pick up a prisoner.

    During the trip, Benavidez allegedly offered to pay her for sex and is accused of fondling himself in front of her.

    She recorded the incident on her cell phone.

    When Swisher county authorities wouldn't take-up the case, she took it to the county where the offense allegedly occurred.

    "Even though there were so many victims, nobody would've believed us if we didn't, or if i didn't get it on tape.  I didn't just get a five minute tape.  I got a long, almost an hour tape.   And the comments were constant  on that tape.  And still it was so hard to get something done."  Said Pointer.

    Randall county District Attorney James Farren says Benavidez can still back out of the plea deal, but the video would be enough to convict him.  "We certainly think the video is strong evidence and we believe it would be devastating to the defense's case.   But, that's up to a jury to decide if he ultimately decides to go to trial.  But, we certainly think it's strong evidence and we're more than prepared to try the case if necessary. "

        Farren believes Benavidez will plead guilty.

    The official oppression charge is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

    As part of the deal, the sentence will be probated but, Benavidez will have to do 30-days in the Randall county jail, perform community service and undergo counseling.

    Benavidez and Swisher county were sued by Pointer and another woman for sexual harassment.
   
    The case was settled out of court with the victims receiving $300,000 dollars.

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