Collin County

Princeton man headed to prison, found guilty of continual child sex abuse

Collin County man will spend 45 years behind bars, without the possibility of parole

NBC 5 News

A Collin County man will spend nearly 50 years in prison after being found guilty of repeatedly sexually abusing a child.

Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis said Monday that 38-year-old Benny James Phennel, of Princeton, was sentenced to 45 years behind bars, without the possibility of parole, after prosecutors said he repeatedly abused a child he knew for two years starting when she was 10 years old.

The victim told family members about the abuse after learning another child was going to be spending the night with Phennel. When confronted by the family about the allegation, Phennel admitted he had "messed around" with the victim.

The abuse was then reported to the Collin County Sheriff's Department and the child was interviewed by an investigator at the Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County. According to a statement by the district attorney, the victim also testified in court.

"We are proud of this child victim's courage to disclose her abuse to an adult and to testify against her abuser. And how admirable that her motivation was to protect another child," Willis said in a statement.

By state law, those found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child are not eligible for parole.

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