Not Guilty Jason Lee Benjamin, Twin Falls, Idaho (arrested Dec 2017) [rape of former student, 16-17]

Discussion in 'Tomcats' started by News Readers, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. News Readers

    News Readers Registered Member

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    Jason Lee Benjamin, 39, math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School, Twin Falls School District, Twin Falls, Idaho, "rape under a statute that applies when a victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least three years older"

    Previously taught at:

    He was acquitted due to jury nullification: "a concept where members of a trial jury find a defendant not guilty if they do not support a government's law, do not believe it is constitutional or humane, or do not support a possible punishment for breaking the law"


    Twin Falls School District employee arrested for rape

    A teacher in the Twin Falls School District has been arrested and accused of rape Jason Lee Benjamin, 39, of Twin Falls, was arrested Thursday by the Twin Falls Police Department. He is accused of rape under a statute that applies when a victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least three years older. Benjamin has worked at Twin Falls schools for 12 years, according to district spokeswoman Eva Craner. He began as a teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School in the 2005-06 school year. After one year at Robert Stuart, he moved to Twin ...


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    http://magicvalley.com/news/local/c...cle_91e2b751-eb36-51e9-95d3-81244185fec7.html
     
    Jason Lee Benjamin, Robert Stuart Middle School, Twin Falls School District, Twin Falls, Idaho, Canyon Ridge High School, Twin Falls High School, jury nullification
  2. News Readers

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    Twin Falls School District teacher arrested on rape charges

    The teacher who admitted to having sex with a former student was in court on Friday. Jason Benjamin was arrested on Thursday for having sex with a 17-year-old. The prosecuting attorney came out hard against him in the arraignment the next day. “I'm sure we'll hear from the defense in a moment about his ties to the community, his lack of history,” said Michelle Agee, the deputy prosecuting attorney. “That's because he's supposed to be a pillar of the community.” The county requested a $500,000 bond on Benjamin, saying he is a severe threat to the community who misused his ...



    Court documents allege he taught the victim at the [Canyon Ridge] high school, but they didn’t begin their relationship until after he had transferred schools. He said he ran into her at her job in September of this year. She hugged him and later that day sent him a friend request on Facebook, which he accepted.

    The two said they communicated on Facebook and in the messaging app. Benjamin said she sent him photos of herself in her underwear, but he said he didn’t ask for them.

    When she told him she turns 18 next year, the court documents said he said he would turn 40. Benjamin also said he looked up her age on Facebook and knew she was 17.

    She said he invited her over to his house after about a week of exchanging messages. Benjamin said they would watch Netflix, kiss and cuddle “until the last time.”

    The last time they said they met up, they had sex.

    The documents said earlier in the day the victim “sent a message to him that read something similar to ‘tonight’s the night’ or ‘I hope you are ready for this.’”

    Benjamin and the victim both said they only had sex one time, but Benjamin said the victim had wanted to before, and he had turned her down.

    After this one encounter the victim called things off. She said she messaged him on Facebook “telling him the relationship needed to be done,” according to court records.


    Despite the prosecution asking for a higher bond, the judge ordered bond at $100,000, the amount the defense requested. The judge added a provision that Benjamin have no contact with minors that aren’t related to him. Benjamin is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 5. ORIGINAL STORY: A Twin Falls School District employee accused of rape was arrested on Thursday. In a press release the city of Twin Falls said Jason L. Benjamin, 39, was arrested for rape I.C. 18-6101(2), a statute that includes sexual relations with someone who is 16 or 17 when the accused is more than ...


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    http://www.kmvt.com/content/news/Tw...acher-arrested-on-rape-charges-467021573.html
     
  3. News Readers

    News Readers Registered Member

    He had returned to Robert Stuart Middle School this year "because he had an affair with another teacher at Canyon Ridge and was trying to reconcile with his wife." And there he ends up have having an affair with a student. What a way to reconcile!


    Prosecutors: South Idaho teacher admits to sex with student

    Prosecutors say the Twin Falls teacher charged with rape admitted to having sex with a 17-year-old student he had taught at Canyon Ridge High School. Jason Benjamin, 39, was arraigned Friday and jailed on a $100,000 bond. Benjamin was most recently a math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School, but had taught at Canyon Ridge from 2009 until 2017. The alleged victim was a student of Benjamin’s at Canyon Ridge during the 2016-2017 school year, according to a police affidavit.



    The pair reconnected this fall, when the former student added Benjamin on Facebook, according to the affidavit. After about one week of messaging back and forth, Benjamin invited the teenager to his home, she told police.

    She allegedly visited his apartment several times in October to “make out” and watch movies. During one of the visits, they had sex, she said. The teen also told authorities that she had sent Benjamin unsolicited photos of herself in her underwear over Facebook messenger.

    Benjamin admitted to police that he had sex with the girl one time. He said he was aware that she was 17 at the time, and that “he knew it was wrong but did not know how to make it stop,” according to the affidavit.

    The teenager ended the relationship over Facebook messenger shortly after the encounter, both she and Benjamin said.


    It’s unclear whether there are other victims, but Twin Falls prosecuting attorney Grant Loebs said he did not have reason to believe that there was more than one. Benjamin has worked at Twin Falls schools for 12 years, according to the district. He began as a teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School in the 2005-2006 school year. After one year at Robert Stuart, he moved to Twin Falls High School, where he taught from 2006 until 2009.



    He returned to Robert Stuart as a math teacher this school year because he had an affair with another teacher at Canyon Ridge and was trying to reconcile with his wife, Benjamin told police.


    A search of Idaho court records turned up a pending divorce, filed by Benjamin’s wife in November, but no criminal history. While teaching at Canyon Ridge, Benjamin also served as an assistant coach for the track and cross country teams. He had a contract to be assistant track coach again this year. He has been placed on administrative leave by the Twin Falls School District, and is legally forbidden to have contact with any minors under the age of 18 who are not relatives. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5


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    https://idahostatejournal.com/news/...cle_43861e4c-9bc3-5357-a132-889606b03e7b.html
     
  4. News Readers

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    Case of Teacher Accused of Rape Heads to District Court

    The teacher who admitted to sleeping with a student will hear his case in district court. Jason Benjamin is being charged with rape, because he admitted to having sex with a former student who was 17 at the time. He was back in 5th District Magistrate Court Friday morning for his preliminary hearing. He did not enter a plea. The judge heard from one of the reporting detectives on the case as well as the mother of the victim. The detective went over details of his investigation and what he found. It was consistent with previous court records and KMVT ...


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    http://newsradio1310.com/case-of-teacher-accused-of-rape-heads-to-district-court/
     
  5. News Readers

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    Two school employees facing sex crimes charges; in both cases communication with teen victims began via social media

    Ask almost any teacher or school administrator and they’ll tell you they get Facebook friend requests from students. But Idaho school districts and the state discourage — and often prohibit — that kind of communication. Educators want to be friendly, personable and create positive connections with students, said Brady Dickinson, superintendent of the Twin Falls School District. Conversations on social media can start out innocently, he said, but can lead to problems. “You just have to be more careful than that. Most teachers are just going to avoid it all together.” But within the past three weeks, two Magic Valley ...


    Jason Lee Benjamin, 39, of Twin Falls, who was most recently a math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School, was arrested Dec. 28. He’s accused of rape. Prosecutors say Benjamin admitted to having sex with a 17-year-old student he taught at Canyon Ridge High School. He and the victim reconnected this fall, when the former student added Benjamin on Facebook, according to a police affidavit.


    Less than two weeks after Benjamin’s arrest, 26-year-old Gooding High School employee Ann Kuroki was arrested Jan. 5 on eight felony counts of sexual battery of a minor child. After initially denying allegations, Kuroki admitted to police she’d had sex with a 16- or 17-year-old student six times at her house and bought him alcohol twice, according to a police affidavit. Kuroki, who monitored the Idaho Digital Learning Academy lab and coached junior varsity boys basketball, initially communicated with the student via Instagram. Generally, in cases of misconduct, the educator involved knows they’re doing something they’re not supposed to, Dickinson ...


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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2018
  6. News Readers

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    Pretrial hearing held for Twin Falls teacher accused of raping teen

    The jury trial for a Twin Falls teacher accused of raping a former student will go ahead as planned. Jason Lee Benjamin, 39, appeared in court at a pretrial hearing Monday, where his attorney confirmed he will come before a jury later this month. Benjamin, who was most recently a math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School, was arrested in December after allegations surfaced that he raped a 17-year-old student he had taught at Canyon Ridge High School. The victim was a student of Benjamin’s at Canyon Ridge during the 2016-17 school year; the pair reconnected last fall when the ...


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    http://magicvalley.com/news/local/c...cle_91484d9d-6a75-5259-aff2-8384f0fd6310.html
     
  7. News Readers

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    Jason Benjamin jury trial date set

    Jason Benjamin, the former math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School and before that at Canyon Ridge High School, has a trial date set. Benjamin was arrested back in December on accusations of raping a 17-year-old former student. The jury trial is scheduled to being on April 18. Benjamin has been charged with one count of rape under the statute when a victim is 16 or 17 and the perpetrator is at least three years older.


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    http://www.kmvt.com/content/news/Jason-Benjamin-jury-trial-date-set-478721873.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2018
  8. News Readers

    News Readers Registered Member

    Twin Falls teacher accused of raping former student will go to trial

    A former Twin Falls teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old high school student will face a jury next month as scheduled. Jason Lee Benjamin, 40, was arrested in December and charged with rape under a statute that applies when the victim is 16 or 17 and the perpetrator is at least three years older. His jury trial will proceed as planned on Aug. 1 unless the state and defense are able to reach an agreement before then, it was determined at a pretrial hearing Friday. Benjamin was most recently a math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School, but ...


    The teenager also told police that she had sent Benjamin unsolicited photos of herself in her underwear over Facebook messenger. Benjamin admitted to police that he had sex with the girl one time, according to the affidavit. He said he was aware that she was 17 at the time, and that "he knew it was wrong but did not know how to make it stop."


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  9. News Readers

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    Jury enters deliberation in trial for teacher accused of raping former student

    A jury has begun deliberating in a trial of a high school teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old former student. Jason Benjamin, 40, is charged with rape under a statute that applies when the victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least three years older. Deputy prosecutor Suzanne Ehlers and defense attorney Doug Nelson wrapped up their closing arguments at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, the same day the trial began. Benjamin was arrested in December after the teenager, a senior at Canyon Ridge High School, told police that she and Benjamin had sex ...


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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2018
  10. News Readers

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    UPDATE: Jury foreman in teacher rape case: 'We couldn't throw this guy's life away'

    Twelve jurors unanimously found Jason Benjamin not guilty of rape Wednesday afternoon, despite the former teacher's admission that he knowingly had sex with an underage girl. Benjamin, who taught at Canyon Ridge High School from 2009 until 2017, was arrested in December after a 17-year-old former student told police she and Benjamin had sex in October, a claim Benjamin confirmed in police interviews. He was charged with rape under a statute that applies when the victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least three years older. Benjamin, now 40, was 39 years old at the ...



    The trial included testimony from Van Vooren and the teenager's mother, who confirmed her daughter was a student at Canyon Ridge High School in December but said the girl had not returned to school since winter break and did not graduate with her class. Neither Benjamin nor the teenager testified.


    As an adult, Benjamin could and should have stopped the relationship before it escalated into sexual contact, deputy prosecutor Suzanne Ehlers argued. There was "no doubt" the teenager was a "willing participant" in the sexual encounter, Ehlers told the jury. But she "was not the only willing participant on this defendant's couch." Defense attorney Doug Nelson did not dispute that Benjamin had sex with the girl, but urged jurors to use their "life experiences" and "common sense" in deciding the verdict. "I know that when this case is over, you guys are going to go back there and do the ...



    The foreman of the jury, who identified himself only as "Jason," told the Times-News after the trial that he and other jurors did not feel the case met the "true definition of rape," as Benjamin did not physically force himself on the girl.

    "We just felt that we couldn't throw this guy's life away, when in our definition she wasn't raped," Jason said. "He made a mistake, but we don't feel that he's a predator and he's going to be out there raping girls."



    Initially, two members of the jury had been leaning toward a guilty verdict, Jason said. He said all of the jurors agreed to declare Benjamin not guilty after re-watching the video of Benjamin's police interview, in which he claimed he was afraid to turn down the teenager's advances.

    "Rape is such an ugly word," the foreman said. "We just could not slap him with the label of rapist when even she said it was consensual and she pursued him."

    If the foreman's comments accurately reflected the jury's reasons for declaring Benjamin not guilty, jurors "completely disregarded their duty," Loebs said.

    "Juries are never supposed to decide whether the law is wise or unwise," Loebs said. "They are to decide whether the facts prove that the law was violated."


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    Idaho jury foreman in teacher rape case: ‘We couldn’t throw this guy’s life away’


    Twelve jurors unanimously found Jason Benjamin not guilty of rape Wednesday afternoon, despite the former teacher’s admission that he knowingly had sex with an underage girl, according to the Times-News. Benjamin, who taught at Canyon Ridge High School from 2009 until 2017, was arrested in December after a 17-year-old former student told police she and Benjamin had sex in October, a claim Benjamin confirmed in police interviews. He was charged with rape under a statute that applies when the victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least three years older. Benjamin, now 40, was 39 ...


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    https://www.idahostatesman.com/latest-news/article215970785.html






    Jury finds Twin Falls teacher who had sex with teen not guilty of rape


    Twelve jurors unanimously found Jason Benjamin not guilty of rape Wednesday afternoon, despite the former teacher’s admission that he knowingly had sex with an underage girl. Benjamin, who taught at Canyon Ridge High School from 2009 until 2017, was arrested in December after a 17-year-old former student told police she and Benjamin had sex in October, a claim Benjamin confirmed in police interviews. He was charged with rape under a statute that applies when the victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least three years older. Benjamin, now 40, was 39 years old at the ...


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    https://www.eastidahonews.com/2018/...her-who-had-sex-with-teen-not-guilty-of-rape/






    Former South Idaho teacher found not guilty of raping student


    Twelve jurors unanimously found Jason Benjamin not guilty of rape Wednesday afternoon, despite the former teacher’s admission that he knowingly had sex with an underage girl. Benjamin, who taught at Canyon Ridge High School in Twin Falls from 2009 until 2017, was arrested in December after a 17-year-old former student told police she and Benjamin had sex in October, a claim Benjamin confirmed in police interviews. He was charged with rape under a statute that applies when the victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least three years older. Benjamin, now 40, was 39 years ...


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    https://idahostatejournal.com/news/...cle_9300e7a8-8583-537c-ba41-fbda1d2c129f.html
     
  11. News Readers

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    Jury finds former Twin Falls teacher 'not guilty' of rape

    A jury found a former Twin Falls teacher accused of raping one of his former students not guilty on charges. The trial for Jason Benjamin, a former math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School and Canyon Ridge High School, started on Wednesday. Benjamin was arrested in December after being accused of raping a former student who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged crime. Interrogation video that played in the courtroom showed Benjamin admitting to having sex with the student. The prosecution and defense agreed the two did have sexual intercourse but the question was whether Benjamin ...


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    http://www.kmvt.com/content/news/Former-teacher-accused-of-rape-appears-in-court-489802141.html




    Jury Finds Former Twin Falls Teacher ‘Not Guilty’ of Rape


    A jury found a former Twin Falls teacher accused of raping one of his former students not guilty on charges. The trial for Jason Benjamin, a former math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School and Canyon Ridge High School, started on Wednesday. Benjamin was arrested in December after being accused of raping a former student who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged crime. By mid-afternoon the jury left to deliberate the case, and a verdict was reached by 5 p.m. The trial for Jason Benjamin, a former math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School and Canyon ...


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    http://newsradio1310.com/jury-finds-former-twin-falls-teacher-not-guilty-of-rape/
     
  12. News Readers

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    Readers react to former teacher's not guilty verdict in rape case

    A jury found former Canyon Ridge High School teacher Jason Benjamin not guilty of rape Wednesday afternoon, despite the former teacher’s admission that he knowingly had sex with an underage girl. The foreman of the jury told the Times-News after the trial that he and other jurors did not feel the case met the “true definition of rape,” as Benjamin did not physically force himself on the girl. READ MORE: Jury foreman in teacher rape case: ‘We couldn’t throw this guy’s life away’ Here’s some of what Times-News readers said about the story on Facebook. All comments are verbatim. Shaylene ...


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    https://magicvalley.com/opinion/rea...cle_4042808e-7788-54b6-9aa6-d328cbbbd5f5.html
     
  13. News Readers

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    Idaho teacher who had sex with teen found not guilty of rape

    A south-central Idaho teacher who told police he had sex with a girl he knew to be underage has been found not guilty of rape. Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs said the jury's decision on Wednesday to find 40-year-old Jason Benjamin not guilty of raping the teenager "staggering." "I've never seen anything like it," Loebs said. The jury foreman told The Times-News that the 12-member panel unanimously concluded the sex was consensual and did not meet their definition of rape because Benjamin did not physically force himself on the girl. Benjamin was charged with rape under an Idaho ...


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    http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com/article/20180802/AP/308029965




    Idaho teacher who had sex with teen found not guilty of rape


    TWIN FALLS — A south-central Idaho teacher who told police he knowingly had sex with ... because Benjamin did not physically force himself on the girl. Benjamin was charged with rape under an Idaho la...


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    https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/c...h-teen-found-not-guilty-of-rape/277-579793668




    Idaho teacher who had sex with teen found not guilty of rape


    A south-central Idaho teacher who told police he had sex with a girl he knew ... of rape because Benjamin did not physically force himself on the girl. Benjamin was charged with rape under an Idaho la...


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    https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/idaho-teacher-sex-teen-found-guilty-rape-56998833




    Idaho teacher who had sex with teen found not guilty of rape


    TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A south-central Idaho teacher who told police he knowingly had sex with ... Benjamin did not physically force himself on the girl. Benjamin was charged with rape under an Idah...


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    https://www.chron.com/news/educatio...-who-had-sex-with-teen-found-not-13127481.php




    Idaho teacher who had sex with teen found not guilty of rape


    TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A south-central Idaho teacher who told police he had sex with a girl ... because Benjamin did not physically force himself on the girl. Benjamin was charged with rape under an ...


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    https://www.greenwichtime.com/news/...-who-had-sex-with-teen-found-not-13127481.php




    Jury Acquits Teacher Of Rape, Says Underage Teen Consented


    A south-central Idaho teacher who told police he had sex with a girl he knew to be underage has been found not guilty of rape. Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs said the jury’s decision on Wednesday to find 40-year-old Jason Benjamin not guilty of raping the teenager “staggering.” “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Loebs said. The jury foreman told The Times-News that the 12-member panel unanimously concluded the sex was consensual and did not meet their definition of rape because Benjamin did not physically force himself on the girl. Benjamin was charged with rape under an Idaho ...


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    https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/08/02/rape-teacher-consent-student/
     
  14. News Readers

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  15. News Readers

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    Jury foreman in Twin Falls teacher rape case: 'We couldn't throw this guy's life away'

    Twelve jurors unanimously found Jason Benjamin not guilty of rape Wednesday afternoon, despite the former teacher’s admission that he knowingly had sex with an underage girl. Benjamin, who taught at Canyon Ridge High School from 2009 until 2017, was arrested in December after a 17-year-old former student told police she and Benjamin had sex in October, a claim Benjamin confirmed in police interviews. He was charged with rape under a statute that applies when the victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least three years older. Benjamin, now 40, was 39 years old at the ...


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    https://elkodaily.com/news/state-an...cle_c0b30525-548f-550c-a1de-d72c2284d37c.html
     

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