On Tuesday, former Lima police officer Justin Bentz was found guilty of raping a then-16-year-old girl. Bentz, 28, was also found guilty of kidnapping and sexual battery.
Hours before he raped the girl in June 2015, Bentz had taken a class warning of the dangers of underage sexual assault.
But that didn’t stop him from making sexual advances towards the 16-year-old girl after handing her a bottle of 80-proof alcohol, allowing her to get drunk to the point where she could barely stand.
However, Bentz insisted the girl had come on to him, forcing her petite body onto his muscular frame, an allegation she denied in court, who was so afraid of him she would not even look at him as she took the witness stand.
During the trial Prosecutor Todd Schroeder grilled Beantz:
“How could it have never crossed your mind when hours before you were taking a class about sex crimes against minors,” asked Schroeder.
Bentz replied, “It’s not something you usually think of when someone is coming on to you.”
The victim was the sister of his roommate’s girlfriend, who was at his Shawnee Township home when he came home from his shift.
It was then that he gave the girl 80-proof alcohol to get her drunk. He then made sexual advances to her – which led to the rape.
She was found by her sister in a closet wearing only a tank top, curled up in the fetal position. Her blood alcohol content was up to .19, more than twice the .08 legal limit.
A nurse determined she suffered blunt force trauma to her vaginal area. A DNA test found his semen on her stomach.
Unlike other police departments that do their best to coverup for their officers, the Lima Police Department wasted no time in having him arrested, contacting the Shawnee Township Police Department that same day, who arrested the then-27-year-old rookie officer.
Bentz showed no remorse during the trial and clearly lacked maturity. At one point the muscular police officer astonishingly tried to paint the 92-pound, 5-foot-2 teen as the aggressor. He did not accept any blame; he denied knowing the girl was underage — even though she had the appearance of a 12-year-old.
“I didn’t even know she was 16. I was not concerned about anything,” he said.
He callously told of picking up the teen and placing her on a kitchen counter to engage in various sexual acts. When that became uncomfortable for him “because he was standing” for a long period of time, Bentz said he carried her to a bedroom where they had intercourse.
Bentz testified he thought the girl was 21 years old. But, Judge David Cheney wasn’t buying it, hence rendering a guilty decree upon the embattled officer.
Sentencing for Bentz is set for April 14. He faces up to 22 years in prison.