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Former Adams County sergeant sentenced in sexual assault case

adams county sheriff's office vehicle.jpg
Posted at 12:43 PM, Apr 07, 2022

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — A former sergeant with the Adams County Sheriff's Office was sentenced to 75 days in jail after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman who was trying to become an academy cadet.

On Thursday, former Adams County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Michael Benson was sentenced following a conviction in late January of sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact, according to the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

He was convicted following a six-day trial.

Benson is accused of making dirty jokes, inappropriate comments in the workplace, and flirting with a civilian employee at the Adams County Jail between February and July of 2018, growing more aggressive as time went by. Eventually, he sexually assaulted the woman, the district attorney's office said.

The woman testified that she was desperate to become an Adams County deputy and was attempting to get into the academy at the time. She told the court she was afraid to report the incident in case it damaged her ability to become an academy cadet.

After ACSO Internal Affairs learned what had happened, Benson was fired and a criminal case began.

Following his conviction, District Attorney Brian Mason said Benson used his position of power to force himself on a subordinate.

"Such a crime is outrageous on its face, but it is particularly reprehensible coming from a sheriff’s deputy," he said.

At the sentencing Thursday, the judge heard from the victim, who described how Benson trapped her and said he had a "willful disregard for other people and the law," according to the district attorney's office.

"This was an outrageous and reprehensible crime, particularly because it was committed by a sheriff’s sergeant who took an oath to protect and serve,” said DA Mason Thursday. “As I have expressed previously, this type of behavior will not be tolerated in our jurisdiction, and we will prosecute these crimes without fear or favor. I hope the victim can move forward now that a verdict and sentence has been handed down to the man who assaulted her.”

Benson was sentenced to probation and 75 days in jail. He will start serving the jail sentence in 13 weeks, the district attorney's office said.