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Published: Tuesday, September 06, 2016 @ 4:09 PM
By: By Nancy Bowman, Contributing Writer
A Troy man convicted of the rape of three children was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years to life in prison by a Miami County judge who said his conduct was reprehensible and raised concerns he’d offend again.
Benjie Van Winkle, 42, originally was charged with 27 counts of rape. He later was indicted by a Miami County Grand Jury on 13 counts of rape.
His pleas in August to three felonies of rape of a child under age 13 made in Common Pleas Court were part of a deal with prosecutors.
Paul Watkins, assistant county prosecutor, said the three counts represented the three victims in the case. The remaining charges were dismissed.
Van Winkle said Tuesday he wanted to apologize to the children and their parents. “I hope that someday … they can forgive me for what I’ve done,” he said.
Watkins called Van Winkle’s acts “heinous.”
The father of two victims said what happened was a parent’s “worst nightmare” and said Van Winkle should spend the rest of his life in prison.
Judge Jeannine Pratt noted that the prison terms involve mandatory time, meaning Van Winkle would not be eligible for any early release or good time.
“You exploited these children to the nth degree,” Pratt said. “I have a duty to protect children from people like you, and I intend to.”
The judge ordered a 10-years to life sentence on each charge ordering two sentences to be served consecutive and the third concurrent to the 20 years to life.
Van Winkle was classified a Tier III sex offender.