A paedophile who claimed he mistook a three-year-old girl for his wife has when he molested the child has been jailed for up to 200 years. Henry Vincent Bennett, 26, was handed down the lengthy sentence after a jury in Bluefield, West Virginia took less than half an hour to convict him.
If Bennett is released from prison, he will be on probation for seven years as well as lifetime supervision and would also be required to register as a sex offender, WVVA reported.
Bennett was convicted on sifirst-degreents of first degree sexual assault and first degree sexual abuse after a two day trial at the end of last year.
Prosecutors say Bennett told detectives that he twice mistook the two stone toddler for his 13 stone, 24-year-old wife after she climbed into his bed.
Passing sentence Judge Derek Swope told Mercer County Courthouse: “I’m not locking him up for the rest of his life, but for the rest of his effective life.”
Bennett was arrested in February 2018, after the toddler told family members and child protection workers that she had been sexually abused.
When police first brought Bennett in for questioning, he denied sexually assaulting the three-year-old girl.
Eventually, Bennett confessed to sexually assaulting the girl on two occasions – once involving a sex toy, and once involving oral sex, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported.
Bennett testified that he had been in special education, dropped out of school in ninth grade and had not qualifications. Both Bennett and his wife, 24-year-old April Bennett, were arrested after the child reported the abuse.