Anderson Police Officer Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges

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Instead of transporting the woman who’d been arrested by another officer directly to the Shasta County Jail, Anderson Police Department Officer Bryan Benson allegedly took a detour off Highway 273. That’s where he parked his car behind a Redding building, pulled the woman from the car and sexually assaulted her, said Redding Police Chief Peter Hansen and Shasta County District Attorney Jerry Benito during a Tuesday afternoon joint press conference.

During the conference, held at the Redding Police Department, Benito said that the victim had been handcuffed at the Anderson Police Department. She was later placed, unhandcuffed, in the front seat of Benson’s unmarked police car for transport to the Shasta County Jail in Redding. 

The victim said that as Benson drove, the officer began making verbal sexual advances and attempted to have the woman perform sexual acts, which he said the victim declined.

After that Benson drove into a dirt pullout that led to a side street and eventually behind a building, Benito said, which is where Benson sexually assaulted the woman.

Benito said that after the assault, Benson drove the victim to the Shasta County Jail. During that time, the woman texted her sister a message that said she was just “raped by a cop.”

Benito said that after Benson dropped the victim off at the jail, the woman told Sgt. Champagne that Benson had sexually assaulted her. Champagne then checked the time log and noticed the time discrepancies, and immediately contacted the Redding Police Department, which began the investigation.

According to a Shasta County District Attorney statement, Benson was arrested this morning at the Anderson Police Department and booked into the Shasta County Jail on several felonies. The charges include forcible rape, rape by threat of authority, sexual battery by restraint, kidnapping, bribery and assault by a public officer.

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Anderson Police Department Officer Bryan Benson, above, was booked in the Shasta County Jail today.

According to Benito and Hansen, the evidence against 25-year-old Benson includes:

 • A time discrepancy between Benson’s reported time of arrival at the Shasta County Jail versus the actual time.

 • Bruising on the victim’s left thigh and right arm.

 • June 3 testimony from Officer Goodwin, who’d originally arrested the woman on May 29 and requested her transport from the Anderson Police Department to the Shasta County Jail. (Benson was on duty at the time, in uniform, but driving an unmarked vehicle he’d used earlier for special patrol of recent crime areas.) Goodwin said that after Benson returned to the APD, Benson told Goodwin he’d had sex with the woman on the way to the jail.

 • Tire tread marks that matched Benson’s car in the area where the victim identified she’d been attacked.

 • Because the victim had reported that Benson had ejaculated on the rear tire of the car and on the ground, investigators swabbed the vehicle’s tire and found a substance that was analyzed and later identified as semen. DNA results are pending.

 • The victim’s sister confirmed reception of the text message, which was sent during the time the victim was in Benson’s custody and transport. 

 • Tire tracks found at the dirt area of the alleged assault were similar to those from Benson’s car.

Other points covered during the press conference included:

The victim’s name is being kept confidential, as are details related to the woman’s early-morning misdemeanor case that led to her arrest because those could lead to the victim’s identification.

Benito praised the collaborative work between the his office, the Redding Police Department, Anderson Police Department and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department for a thorough investigation that culminated in enough sufficient evidence to proceed with the filing of criminal charges.

Benson’s bail is set at $500,000. 

Independent online journalist Doni Greenberg founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Greenberg was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Sherri Batie says:

    Great story but a terrible mark on the police department. I respect the way they handled it. Doni, you did a great job of reporting, as usual!

  2. Avatar Virginia says:

    Good heavens, as if the police don't have enough problems, this jerk some how dropped into the station!

    Good job, Doni, to be right on top of this news!

  3. Avatar Maureen says:

    Good work Doni and the local law enforcement agencies. Sad story, but at least it is being handled properly and justice is being served. That poor woman.

  4. Avatar James Shoffner says:

    Doni, rape is horrable for anyone. At times we put too much trust in people of authority which can lead to abuse in many forms. It is the responsability of each person to be informed as to what our rights are and just how far a person of authorty can rule over us. Mr. Benson, or the local clergyman, the problem doesn't just exist within our police departments. It's unacceptable where ever it happens to take place.

  5. Avatar Jean says:

    Well done article! This is really a sad thing to happen in any town, but hurts that it could happen in our town.

  6. Avatar Janet says:

    What I find remakable is that the woman informed Sgt. Champagne at the jail, and that her accusation was taken seriously. This is very good.

  7. Avatar Jeffrey says:

    They said they wouldn't release the name of the Victim but they posted it on the ReddingBlog Mugshots for everyone to see! There was only one girl taken in for a DUI that night (morning) and she happens to be 24…..Maybe seeing who she is will make people question her story?

  8. Avatar ReddingBlog.com says:

    Jeffrey, thank you for calling that to my attention. I don't know what the jail's policy is on releasing information under these circumstances, nor if the mugshot posted was the victim in the article, but as a precaution I removed her info.

    I am glad you caught it before people started posting speculation about her all over Redding.com.

    By the way, there is no "they" at reddingblog.com, it's just me.

  9. Avatar Christina says:

    I am so disappointed by the police officer who is accused of the rape and am often disappointed by the service of the Redding and Anderson police in general. In this instance, it does seem that the Redding PD handled the situation appropriately and in a timely manner. But, does that excuse other police indiscretions of the past? Since I moved to the area the Redding PD has shot and killed two unarmed suspects and any time I have had the need to contact the RPD I have gotten no response. Every story such as this makes me more wary of the authority that officers have over us as individuals. I have a young daughter who will have to grow up in this world and I used to think I would tell her to trust an authority figure such as a police officer on the merits of the job alone. They are the ones who you are supposed to turn to in times of hardship, but now I will tell her that no one should be trusted based on their uniform and title. People should have to prove their humanity first as well as the quality of their person. I don't like where the world or the Northstate is heading at this point.

    • Avatar Janice Powell says:

      Christina…

      Teach your young daughter to "Question Authority, With Respect".

      In our community, it's important to teach young people that how our elected officials or even law enforcement officers behave isn't always "right". If we all realize that we can question anyone of their motives, research the problem and do it with respect to truth and honesty, then everyone in the community will be served well.

      Just because someone is in a position of power it doesn't mean that they have power over me. Welcome to Shasta County !

  10. Avatar gamerjohn says:

    And of course Benson is shocked to be charged since Benito always claimed to have full support from all the cops. If the cops knew that Benito was all of a sudden going to fairly enforce the laws even against cops, they may have changed their votes.

  11. Avatar Doug Bennett says:

    Interesting timing. On election day, when Benito was behind in the voting, to come out strong for law and order, even when it involves an officer of the law? Call me a cynic, but this seems suspect of having political motives. I hope that Sheriff Bosenko and Chief Hansen realize they may appear to be acting politically to help Benito in an unsuccessful re-election bid. I hope Carlton has the integrity to apply the law equally, and be open on internal investigation of the police in the future. Mr. Benito has not always shined in that regard.

  12. Avatar Spc Sean Merritt says:

    So who is the law when the law is lawless. I hope this man gets full punishment under the law. To commit such a heinous act such as this as a uniformed officer on duty is disgusting. It would be disgusting even if he was Joe Shmoe. Something tells me the place he ends up he'll find out exactly how this poor young lady feels and i'm sure Carlton will see he gets the max. Great Job on reporting this unfortunate story though Doni. I'm sure it was as hard to write as it was for me to read some parts. My thoughts are with the victim and hope she is able to find peace

  13. Avatar pmarshall says:

    Doni, good reporting. We need more of it. There seems to be a lot of "crime" in this city lately, and it doesn't help if a policeman is added to it. Now, we need to have more facts about the gang members whose numbers seem to be growing.

  14. Avatar cop hater mike says:

    ALL COPS SUCK!

    • Avatar Budd Hodges says:

      Cop Hater Mike, All cops do not suck. This Anderson cop does suck and made a very wrong decision to have his way with this suspect.

      It's not a perfect world. We need police to enforce the laws of the land and keep bad guys in check and enforce those laws set up under the law.

  15. Avatar Truth says:

    Officer Benson''s name has came up a lot in the past two weeks since his arrest. In addition, we have learned Officer Benson disclosed the fact he had sexual relations with a prisoner while enroute to the jail to another officer by the name of Officer Goodwin. I read a recent article where an Anderson Police Captain said Goodwin had not committed a crime by failing to report this incident; furthermore, stating the matter would be handled internally as a policy violation.

    On the onset, it would certainly appear that Officer Goodwin violated his department's policy; he could also have sugnificant "Brady" issues, which could prevent him from testifying and render him useless as a witness in court. But in reading most peoples' comments the questions is "did Officer Goodwin committ a crime?" I, for one, do not share the same opinion as Captain Kirvin and absolutly believe Officer Goodwin violated the law. Please read section 32 of the California Penal Code below and then you decide.

    Every person who, after a felony has been committed, harbors,

    conceals or aids a principal in such felony, with the intent that

    said principal may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction or

    punishment, having knowledge that said principal has committed such felony or has been charged with such felony or convicted thereof, is an accessory to such felony.

    Now re-read the above section and substitute Officer Goodwin's name with "Every Person" and substitute Officer Benson's name with the word "Principal." The felony crime here is the rape of an an arrestee. If it's still not clear, I will spell it out…

    If the case summary I read in support the warrant for Officer Benson's arrest is correct, Officer Benson disclosed that he had sex with an arestee to Officer Goodwin when he returned from the jail. Basically, Officer Benson told Officer Goodwin that he comitted a felony invovling a sexual assault. By Officer Goodwin failing to take POLICE action on this sexual assualt, Officer Benson was allowed to go home and was not detained; therefore, Officer Goodwin let crucial evidence escape without being collected.

    Had the Redding Police Department been able to detain Officer Benson before he went home there is a significant chance Officer Benson would of had trace evidence on his body, which could have been retrieved, secured as evidence and used in court during this pending criminal matter. The evidence of the sexual assault would most likely have been present on his body, clothing, underwear, ect. The evidence I am referring to is DNA evidence from the victim.

    There is a chance the Redding Police Department would have found this said evidence on Benson's clothing days later during the service of a search warrant at his residence; however, it would be unlikely if Benson washed his clothing between this alledged assault and when the search warrant was served. In addition, most of the evidence on his actual person (body) would have been biological and would be washed away if Benson showered.

    I realize this is a long BLOG comment, but I had to express my feeling as to why Captain Kirvin is mistaken and why Officer Goodwin is an accessory to this suspected rape "after the fact."

    Please do not take my word for it and see if these set of circumstances lead you to the same conclusion.

    Please do not assume all cops, officer, deputies, marshall's have would have reacted the same way based the actions of these two officers. This is a black eye, but we will work hard to restore your trust!

    Thank you for reading this.

  16. Avatar JOHN says:

    I really think it sucks that a cop would do something like that !! I am really supriased that the cops here in redding actully listined to her !! Normally they wont listin to a drunk person !! They would just throw your butt in the drunk tank and treat you like crap !!! I hate to talk about our cops that way but its true . They say they are short handed but if you look every where most of them are at a donut shop or at a fast food place !! They breack more laws than anybody else out here !! Everytime im on the road or in town they are on their cell phones when they are driving . Pluse why is it that they can drive over 80 mph with no lights on or siroins !! I actully i followed one that was speeding and he went straight to I – HOP . I even asked him why he was driving like that and he told me to leave or he will arrest me for herrasment and disturbing the piece !! Just because they have a badge doesnt mean they can do what ever they want . I thank that we need to clean house and replace all the cops here in redding and anderson ! I say bring the cops from PX AZ at least they are nice to people pluse they do their job right and has respect to all people out in the world !!