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Jury hands down 16-year sentence for molesting 16-year-old girl

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​Benito Pena Jr., age 33, of Anna, Texas, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

"Predators need to know that our teenagers are not fair game, and the jury definitely sent that message," added Willis.

Around September 2014, Pena began molesting the 16-year-old child, who was known to him. The abuse lasted several months until the child out-cried to her mother about the abuse.

A report of the abuse was made to the Anna Police Department. The Collin County Sheriff's Office Child Abuse Task Force led by Sgt. Russell Driver investigated, and a forensic interview of the victim took place at the Children's Advocacy Center.

Information was obtained that Pena had a pantyhose fetish, and that he forced the child to engage in this fetish on numerous occasions. An extraction of Pena's cell phone revealed approximately 21,000 photos of women that corroborated his fetish. DNA evidence corroborated the victim's description of the abuse. 

The jury returned a guilty verdict for Sexual Assault of a Child and Indecency with a Child. During the punishment hearing, the jury considered additional evidence that included jail phone calls, seven sexually explicit video recordings, and evidence of Pena's previous drug conviction. The jury then sentenced Pena to 16 years in prison out of a possible 20 years.

Assistant District Attorneys Shannon Miller and Lindsey Wynne prosecuted the case with assistance from Investigator Greg Bowers. Judge Ray Wheless presided over the case.