An American man has been convicted of sexually assaulting his young daughter. Picture: West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility
An American man has been convicted of sexually assaulting his young daughter. Picture: West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility

Child rapist’s unbelievable excuse

A MAN has been convicted of incest with his three-year-old daughter after bizarrely claiming he believed the child was his 24-year-old wife.

It took a West Virginia jury less than 30 minutes to decide Henry Vincent Bennett, 26, was guilty of first-degree sexual assault, along with other charges.

He could now face a jail term of 80 to 270 years.

American Henry Vincent Bennett, 26, faces sexual assault charges. Picture: West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility
American Henry Vincent Bennett, 26, faces sexual assault charges. Picture: West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility

Bennett, who was first arrested in February, originally denied assaulting his young daughter. Police apprehended him after three-year-old told family and child safety workers that she had been a victim of Bennett's sickening crimes.

The child delivered a harrowing account of the abuse when she made a Play-Doh penis, explaining it was her father's "butt", and that Bennett had placed his "butt on her butt", child advocacy worker Cindy Lambert testified.

Bennett and his wife April were both arrested in February. Picture: Facebook
Bennett and his wife April were both arrested in February. Picture: Facebook

While he eventually admitted to sexually assaulting the child twice, he said it was an accident on both occasions.

In one instance, Bennett said he "accidentally" placed a sex toy in his daughter's buttocks.

He claimed there was another occasion were his wife was performing oral sex on him before getting up to go to the bathroom. At that point, Bennett said the three-year-old came into the room and started performing the sexual act without him realising it was no longer his 84kg wife.

April Bennett, 24, pleaded guilty to one charge of child neglect. Picture: West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility
April Bennett, 24, pleaded guilty to one charge of child neglect. Picture: West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility

When asked by the prosecutor as to how it could have been a case of mistaken identity, Bennett said: "I was laying on my back... I thought it was April (his wife), and when I rolled over (the girl) yelled," Bennett said.

April was arrested earlier this year, too, but eventually reached a plea deal to one charge of child neglect.

The 24-year-old will be sentenced this month, and could spend as long as five years in prison.


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