http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/348003

Former B.C. TV reporter appeals sexual assault sentence

Posted Apr 15, 2013 by Arthur Weinreb
Ron Bencze, 45, has appealed the four year sentence that was imposed after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a young boy for more than seven years. Bencze will argue the sentence was excessive.
Ron Bencze before being sentenced to four years for sexually assaulting a child
Ron Bencze before being sentenced to four years for sexually assaulting a child
Screen capture from CBC News
Bencze's appeal is being heard today before three justices of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The former reporter will argue the sentence imposed by Provincial Court Judge Robin Baird was demonstrably unfit and exceeded the range of sentences appropriate for the crime he committed. He will also argue he is not a pedophile and therefore there is little chance he will re-offend.
At the sentencing hearing, the Crown asked for a sentence of between two and three years imprisonment. Bencze's lawyer had asked for a conditional sentence of between eighteen months and two years. Conditional sentences are served at home and otherwise known as "house arrest."
In addition to the jail term, Bencze was prohibited from going to schools, playgrounds, swimming pools and other places children under the age of 16 are likely to congregate for a period of 20 years. He was also prohibited from possessing a firearm for 10 years and was required to supply a DNA sample.
The former reporter, who worked for Global TV and 1130 radio in Vancouver, was arrested in January 2011 and eventually charged with nine counts of sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching involving three young boys. After his arrest, he was fired from his job at Global TV where, among other things, he reported cases much like his own.
In July 2012, the Crown agreed he could plead guilty to one count of sexual assault. The other eight charges were stayed. Bencze was sentenced the following month.
Bencze admitted he sexually assaulted the boy over a seven year period when the youth was between the ages of seven and 14. The sexual assaults ended only after the boy told his mother who contacted police. The boy was a friend of Bencze's son and the assaults took place at the former reporter's home.
In a victim impact statement, the boy told the court, "I feel I have missed out in a childhood that was meant for me. Not the twisted one I have experienced."
A medical report tendered after the guilty plea said Bencze was not pedophile and therefore a very low risk to re-offend. Bencze was described as immature with a strong desire to please. He told doctors he was the submissive one in the relationship and the victim was the dominant one.
In rejecting the maximum three year sentence the prosecutor was asking for, Baird described the crime as a "major sexual assault" and Bencze must "pay a heavy price."
The Court of Appeal can dismiss the appeal or impose a lower sentence the justices deem fit.