Friday, February 12, 2010

Allanah Benton-Wells, Flint, MI ex-teacher, gets 25-38 years for sex with 12 year old student

While we're on the subject of hefty punishment for sexual assault, as shown by many of the recent sentencings below, Allanah Benton-Wells, a Flint, MI teacher was sentenced to 25 to 38 years imprisonment yesterday for her sexual abuse of a 12 year old boy who she was supposed to have been tutoring around Halloween 2007. The victim wasn't a student in her regular classes at Williams Elementary School, according to Flint Schools spokesman Bob Campbell.

Benton-Wells, who has a history of dating younger men, was convicted on two counts of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct on December 22. Her ex-husband said that Benton-Wells had been in the presence of the boy late at night when he was shirtless and she was in a nightgown. The boy himself testified before running away that Benton-Wells told him to keep their sexual encounters a secret.

At Benton-Wells' sentencing, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Richardson cited the running away as proof of the damage inflicted by the encounters.

Richardson said the victim was a troubled child before his relationship Benton-Wells, where he considered her his “girlfriend,” but his behavior, respect for authority and his attitude toward women have gotten worse since that time. "She took a 12-year-old student under the guise of monitoring and made him a man in his eyes,” Richardson said.

Prosecutor David Leyton said that the crimes, which ripped apart the families of both the victim and the perpetrator, merited a long sentence. “If a teacher or any grown up has sex with someone who is under the age of 13, the sentence should be severe.” He also said that teachers should treat their students "like gold," and  "should keep their hands off.”

Genessee County Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut, after complaining the mandatory 25 year minimum for 1st degree criminal sexual conduct tied his hands, sentenced Benton-Wells to 25-38 years in prison.  “I heard these words during the trial, ‘a school teacher having sex with her sixth-grade student is the most disgusting, reprehensible thing we can imagine.’ That’s why you’re going to prison."

Benton-Wells maintained her innocence through the trial, and said just before sentencing, "I didn’t commit any of these acts, and I’m innocent...I maintain my innocence and that’s all I can do." She'll appeal the sentence, according to her attorney Michael Cronkright. “She thinks the jury got it wrong,” he said.


Anonymous said...

What exactly was on the tape that the mother heard between the boy and Allanah? If he was a troubled child why was the mother letting him stay out all hours of the night? Did she know where her child was? Did the boy coe back home after running away? Is the mother trying to school board now? Well I have got news for her, FLINT has no money! They believed the soon already to be ex-husband? They were on the rocks before this even happened. Why would or should they believe him? If you are going to sentence someone that long, make sure you have ALL the proof. What if the boy was lying, felt bad after and ran away? That boy better had been telling the truth because he has caused someone to go to prison for a very long time. DUI drivers that kill someone with their car don't even get that long of a sentence!

Anonymous said...

Allanah Benton-Wells dating younger men is irrelevant to did she or did she not molest a 12 year old boy. Incidentally have been with women old enough to be my mom, women my age & women young enough to be my daugther-definitely like younger women & wouldn't date older women again. It's my view that when a man has problems getting women the 2 easy things he can do is pay a prostitute or go into a relationship with much older woman. So not a fan of cougar relationships as it's easy to get.

That aside, could Allanah Benton-Wells have been innocent? This was a he says she says case. The prosecutor offered a pleabargain where she could've spent 1 year in jail & lifetime probation but she rejected it because she says she is innocent. Guilty people & even many innocents will take the pleabargain because the fear of being convicted & getting a much longer sentence if convicted @ trial.

But how likely is it for a guilty person to reject a lenient pleabargain as Allanah Benton-Wells did? It's possible for a guilty person to do this. If Allanah Benton-Wells is indeed guilty as the jury convicted her, then I don't sympathise with her esp. as she rejected a pleabargain which would've gotten her out of jail in a year. If Allanah Benton-Wells is innocent, then she is right in rejecting this pleabargain, though it got her convicted.

Anyhow, I don't know if Allanah Benton-Wells is innocent or guilty-a jury believes she had sex with a 12 year old boy, but only that there are things to consider.