Former San Antonio Lawyer Faces Trafficking Charges
by Shawn McCraith '18
A former lawyer of San Antonio was sentenced to 80 years in prison for forcing clients to have sex with him so he could provide them with legal services. The jury in Wilson County gave their judgment after about six hours of thinking it over. The case was moved from Bexar County because of its notoriety. Mark Henry Benavides aged 48 was convicted on Tuesday the 3rd of April, 2018 with six counts of continuous trafficking of persons. The attorneys of Benavides filed an appeal in the case.
Benavides still faces charges from other cases, court records show that he has two counts of sexual assault of a child, a single count of sexual assault and multiple counts of continuous trafficking of persons. As reported by the San-Antonio Express, Benavides mouthed the words “I love you” to his wife after Friday’s sentencing.
WOAI-TV reported that Benavides targeted drug addicts and prostitutes as victims which would only make their accounts less credible. He talked them into having sex with him so they wouldn’t be put into jail and he recorded the encounters. 250 DVDs of the sexual encounters between Benavides and the victims were confiscated from Benavides’ home and some were shown during the trial. A video of rough sex caused a juror to faint. The argument of whether the sex was sensual was said to be real as testified by Benavides but the prosecutor said that the cries of pain during the sex was real.
Meredith Chacon told the Express-News that,”This is human trafficking, he transported, coerced, threatened and made them feel they had no choice. This jury understood that.” The attorneys of Benavides didn’t comment on the sentencing. Mark Henry benavides was expected to run to be a district judge in bexar County but resigned from the state bar in 2016. Benavides will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years of his sentence.
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