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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Firefighter pleads guilty to sexually exploiting a child

Richard S. Benavente, a firefighter who is facing charges of sexually exploiting two minors, has pleaded guilty in federal court.

At a change of plea hearing late Monday afternoon, Benavente, who appeared with counsel Mark Hanson, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child.

This was related to the June 23, 2013, incident in which he “persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced” the girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct while he recorded it using a cellular phone.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona accepted Benavente’s guilty plea and set the sentencing for Sept. 10, 2014.

Benavente was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

The indictment charged the 43-year-old Benavente with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child.

According to the indictment, Benavente persuaded two girls to have sex with him and recorded the incident using a cell phone. This allegedly happened on June 23, 2013 and on July 10, 2013.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent alleged that Benavente took videos of himself having sex with two 15-year-old girls.

Annette N. Basa, who is facing a separate indictment, allegedly offered the girls to the firefighter in exchange for methamphetamine or “ice” and an unspecified amount of money.

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