Man gets at least 20 years in prison for raping 3 children

TROY, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio man who admitted under a plea deal that he raped three children has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Miami County Judge Jeannine Pratt sentenced Benjie Van Winkle on Tuesday.

The 42-year-old Troy man apologized to the children and their parents and says he hopes they can forgive him.

Pratt says Van Winkle exploited the children. He won’t be eligible for early release.

Pratt says the sentence is necessary due to the “unusual” psychological and emotional harm Van Winkle caused the victims. Pratt also cited her fears that Van Winkle would re-offend.

A 13-year-old victim had asked that Van Winkle receive a life term. She says he repeatedly violated and sexually assaulted her and two other victims over a three-year period.

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