Lake Highlands Rapist Sentenced; Victims Recall Attacks in Court

Victims bravely recall attacks; attacker blames steroids

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    Cesar Benitez, the man who pleaded guilty to raping three women in Lake Highlands last year, has been sentenced to 85 years behind bars.

    Cesar Benitez, the man who pleaded guilty to raping three women in Lake Highlands last year, has been sentenced to 85 years behind bars.

    Benitez pleaded guilty to three charges on Feb. 12, including one count of aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of burglary of a habitation and sexual assault.  While issuing the sentence Friday, Judge Ernest White said Benitez saw himself as a victim of steroids and said he had terrified and substantially altered the lives of his three victims.

    During the hearing Friday, Benitez issued a statement, read by a translator, where he tried to explain his actions while asking to be returned to his home country. 

    Lake Highlands Rapist Sentenced, Victims Speak

    [DFW] Lake Highlands Rapist Sentenced, Victims Speak
    Cesar Benitez, the man who pleaded guilty to raping three women in Lake Highlands last year, has been sentenced to 85 years behind bars.

    In the letter, Benitez said he was sorry for causing damage, had a hard time waking up to reality and knew he couldn't justify what he'd done, but that there are "moments where evil seizes one."

    He added that he had been taking steroids between 2008 and 2013 and that it got to the point where he was injecting himself every day. He said his body was "toxicated" [sic]. 

    He said, "at the end of the day, I don't know if God will give me a lot of lifetime (because of what I did)," and asked that he be allowed to return to his home country.

    Earlier in the day, Benitez's victims bravely recalled the attacks and the effect it has had on their lives — all while Benitez sat in the courtroom, showing no emotion, as others fought back tears, NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff tweeted.

    At one point, while a frantic 911 call made after an assault was played in the courtroom, Benitez still sat silently as the recording was played.

    Benitez could have received up to life in prison for the charges.

    NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff, Amanda Guerra, Greg Janda and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.