Brundidge man indicted on 36 charges connected to sexual abuse of a child

Published 10:30 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

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On Thursday, March 30, Brundidge man David Ezra Benton (32) was indicted on 36 total charges connected to the alleged sexual abuse of a minor under the age of 12 years old.

According to a statement from Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas, those charges include 13 counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old, four counts of sodomy in the first degree, 18 counts of production of child pornography and one charge of rape in the first degree. Thomas thanked the work of his office, the district attorney’s office, Forensic Sciences of Alabama and the Alabama Children’s Hospital for their help in the investigation.

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“This has been a lengthy investigation with a lot of hours and a lot of stuff to go through,” Thomas said. “The attorney general’s office helped find a lot of information on his phone for us and we’re very appreciative to all the agencies for their assistance in this case.

“He will be put in jail on 36 counts where he will remain with no bond. This predator no longer needs to live in our society. He is a threat to children and we intend to work with the district attorney’s office to prosecute him and put him in the penitentiary for a very long time.”

District Attorney for the 12th Judicial District of Alabama James Tarbox said that while Benton is currently remanded without bond he would receive another bond hearing in the future.

“My office will be seeking to have him continue to have no bond and remanded in custody with the sheriff’s office at the jail,” Tarbox emphasized.

Tarbox said it’s unfortunate to have to have trials of this nature but looks forward to seeking justice for the young victim.

“I’m pleased the grand jury agreed with my office in regard to the counts on the indictment that were returned against Mr. Benton,” Tarbox continued. “My office looks forward to pursuing justice on behalf of this young victim at a court date that will be set in the future by the trial judge.

“We are happy to be moving forward at this juncture. We hate this situation has happened at all but we are looking forward to trying to obtain justice for the victim.”

Thomas made sure to acknowledge the work of lead investigator Troy Johnson on the case.

“Investigator Troy Johnson worked tirelessly on this case,” he said. “He has put in numerous hours and has been stick to his stomach having to watch some of the video he’s had to. It’s really taken a toll on him as it would anybody. I want to thank him for the long, hard hours he’s put in.”