Sentencing for a former Adams County Sheriff’s Department sergeant is set for 9 a.m. April 7. in connection with a sex-assault conviction.
An Adams County jury also returned a guilty verdict of unlawful sexual contact against 34-year-old Michael Benson. The jury made its decision Jan. 31 after a six-day trial.
A press statement from the 17th Judicial District said the victim was working as a civilian employee at the jail. Benson was her supervisor. According to the statement, Benson “spent an unusual amount of time with her at work and that his conduct included dirty jokes, flirting and inappropriate comments in the workplace.” This happened between February and July 2018.
“The victim testified that the defendant became more aggressive, leading to the conduct encompassed by the charges in this case, including touching her intimate parts, forcing her to touch his penis, and ultimately digitally penetrating her,” the statement said.
The victim testified that she was desperate to become an Adams County sheriff’s deputy, and she was attempting to enter the academy when these incidents occurred. According to the statement, the victim said she was fearful that speaking out could damage her ability to become an academy cadet.
Benson lost his job in September 2018. The Commerce City and Brighton Sexual Assault Task Force conducted the criminal investigation.
“Mr. Benson used his position of power to force himself upon a subordinate and sexually assault her,” said DA Brian Mason in the statement. “Such a crime is outrageous on its face, but it is particularly reprehensible coming from a sheriff’s deputy. We will not tolerate this behavior. My office will prosecute those who commit these crimes without fear or favor, including when it occurs in a jail by a member of law enforcement. I applaud the victim for her courage in coming forward and am grateful to the jury for returning a just verdict.”