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Frederick man charged in Howard Co. with sexually abusing boy

Law EnforcementSexual Misconduct

A Frederick man has been charged in Howard County with multiple counts of child sex abuse over a seven-year period beginning in 1997, according to Howard County police.

Dean Lee Benner, 47, of the 5700 block of Brook Lane, faces 14 counts of sex offense and child abuse charges and is being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center, police said. 

Benner was arrested late Wednesday night at his home, police said. They also said there could be more victims.

According to police, detectives were contacted in August by a family member of a man, now 23, who alleged Benner sexually abused him repeatedly from 1997 to 2003, when he was age 6 through 13.

Police said the victim reported approximately 200 incidents of sex abuse, and that Benner allegedly held him at gunpoint and knifepoint during the sex acts. The victim said Benner threatened to kill him if he refused. 

The victim told investigators that Benner would often provide him, and other victims, with drugs and alcohol so they would pass out, police said. The victim reported he would awaken to Benner sexually abusing him, police said.

Police said the victim told them the incidents occurred at three locations -- Benner's home, which was in Elkridge at the time, his place of work, Quality Lab Products located in the 6600 block of Santa Barbara Road in Elkridge, and a barn on a friend's farm, located in the 5300 block of Kerger Road in Ellicott City. 

Investigators were told the victim and his family trusted Benner and believed he was the uncle of a friend. The victim's parents allowed him to spend many weekends with Benner, police said. According to the charging documents, the victim said he stayed with Benner for "almost every weekend" from 1997 to 2003.  

The victim said the assaults occurred in the after hours in the office area of his workplace, in Benner's bedroom and in a room on top of the barn at the farm, according to the documents. 

Police said officers served a search warrant at Benner’s current residence and found nine guns, many of which were loaded, ammunition, two large hunting knives and three swords.

Police also found an insta-matic camera that the victim claimed Benner used to take pictures of the boys, sometimes immediately prior to committing the alleged acts, according to the documents. 

Police said detectives have been in contact with others they believe were sexually abused by Benner and are continuing to investigate those cases.

Police said anyone who might have been a victim, or has information about Benner, should come forward and contact police at 410-313-2630.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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