Four pending sex cases against convicted ex-San Antonio attorney dismissed
A judge on Monday granted a motion from Bexar County prosecutors to dismiss four remaining sex cases against a disgraced former San Antonio attorney convicted in April of forcing his clients into having sex with him.
Mark Henry Benavides, 48, who is appealing his April conviction of continuous trafficking of persons, also faced two charges of sexual assault of a child, one sexual assault charge and a continuous trafficking of persons charge.
Four motions to dismiss documents filed Friday and granted Monday by Senior District Judge Dick Alcala, who presided over the cases, state the reason for the dismissals as “pending requests for appeal” in his April conviction.
Six women he represented in prostitution or drug cases testified he coerced them into having sex to keep them out of jail or lessen their legal troubles, and videotaped the encounters, some of which were shown to the jury.
A former Democratic judicial candidate, Benavides, will have to serve at least 30 years of the 80-year prison he received before he is eligible for parole.
Benavides’ first trial was moved to Wilson County on a change of venue because many of Benavides’ accusers alleged that the attorney would have sex with them in jury and witness rooms at the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center. Because of the accusations, attorneys said they did not want potential jurors doing their own investigations.
Alcala was to rule on another change of venue at a hearing July 20, but declined to do so. At an earlier hearing, he set a tentative trial date for October on the new trafficking charge.
Elizabeth Zavala is a courts and crime reporter in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | email@example.com | Twitter: @elizabeth2863