Sex offender faces new sexual assault charges


By Nick Walton - nwalton@civitasmedia.com



Van Winkle


A man currently serving a 20 years to life prison sentence for sexually assaulting minors in Miami County is now facing charges for similar conduct in Champaign County.

Benjie D. Van Winkle, 43, of Correctional Reception Center, Orient, was indicted last week on 11 third degree felony counts of gross sexual imposition and six first degree felony counts of rape. The grand jury indictment contends the conduct occurred between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2014, and involved two minor victims.

An arraignment hearing in this case is scheduled for Oct. 18.

Van Winkle was sentenced in Miami County on Sept. 6 on three counts of first degree felony rape. The first two counts of 10 years to life will run concurrent. Van Winkle’s third count of first degree rape will run consecutive for a minimum of 20 years to life in prison and he will not be eligible for early release.

Van Winkle was also classified as a Tier III sex offender for life.

The three minor female victims were under the age of 13 at the time of the offenses.

Van Winkle pleaded guilty to the charges in Miami County in a joint plea agreement with the state to drop 10 counts of a grand jury indictment.

According to law enforcement officials, the alleged sexual assaults occurred outside of Fletcher in Brown Township, in Troy, as well as in Champaign County. According to reports, on Feb. 9, Van Winkle confessed to the allegations during the initial interview with authorities.

Van Winkle
http://urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_VanWinkle.jpgVan Winkle

By Nick Walton

nwalton@civitasmedia.com

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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