Ex-Sheriff may agree to plea deal on Monday

Ex-Sheriff may agree to plea deal on Monday

Ex-Swisher County Sheriff Emilio Benavidez will have the option to plead guilty on Monday for his official oppression charge.

According to the Civil Complaint, Benavidez was charged with the misdemeanor in October 2011 after two female co-workers said he made sexual advances toward them while employed with Swisher County Sheriffs Deparment.

Randall County District Attorney James Farren said they offered him a plea deal that would include 1 year straight probation, community service, counseling on how to interact with female workers, and some jail time.

â??He has 30 days unless he violates probation. Then he could serve up to a year in county jail,â?? Farren said.

Ex Co-Workers Cassie Pointer and Tara Rasmussen said Benavidez began taking an unhealthy interest toward them. He later would perform lewd acts and make sexual advancements toward the two females.

Farren said the only reason this criminal case is within their jurisdiction is because Pointer began to record Benavidez in the act of his harassment.

â??Some of the particular events occurred in Randall County because she began to digitally record with her cell phone. By the landscape, you can prove it was taking place in Randall County,â?? Farren said.

Farren said as far as the judge involved in the case, he cannot comment on that issue because itâ??s not in the Randall County jurisdiction.

He does say that because of Texasâ?? Party law, the judge could be a just as guilty.

â??If youâ??re in for a penny, youâ??re in for a pound. If you helped in some way, even just a little but, you can be judged for the same crime,â?? Farren said.

Victim Tara Rasmussen said sheâ??s thankful for the people who listened, and is looking forward to moving on.

â??We're very happy justice is being served. It's time we put it behind us and move on," Rasmussen said.