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Caldwell man going to prison for sexual abuse of 9-year-old girl

Sentence "gives the victim the peace of mind that he can never hurt her or anyone again," prosecutor says.
Credit: Canyon Co. Sheriff's Office
Steven J. Bennett, 50, sentenced July 9, 2021, to 30 years in prison with 12 fixed for lewd conduct and sexual abuse of a 9-year-old girl in Caldwell, Idaho.

CALDWELL, Idaho — A Caldwell man who sexually abused a 9-year-old girl who was staying at his home is going to prison for at least 12 years.

Steven J. Bennett, 50, was sentenced Friday for lewd conduct with a minor under 16 and sexual abuse of a minor. A jury convicted him of those crimes after a trial in April.

Judge Gene Petty sentenced Bennett to 30 years in prison, with the possibility of parole after 12 years. The judge ordered Bennett to register as a sex offender, submit a DNA sample to the Idaho database, and to not have any contact with the victim of any other females under the age of 18 for 60 years. He also must pay a $2,500 fine and $5,000 civil penalty to the victim.

Bennett was arrested in January 2020, after a Caldwell Police investigation revealed he had sexually abused a 9-year-old girl numerous times over several months, while she was staying at Bennett's home.

The girl told police that Bennett touched her inappropriately on multiple occasions. She also told detectives that Bennett exposed himself to her and made her touch his genitals numerous times, and said Bennett also made her watch pornography.

Bennett "was in a position of trust with the victim, and he used that trust to take advantage of her for his own sexual gratification," said Canyon Co. Prosecutor Bryan Taylor. "This lengthy prison sentence gives the victim the peace of mind that he can never hurt her or anyone again."

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