When you read the article’s title you would be forgiven if you thought, “well this has to be click bait. No judge is this insane.”
You’d be wrong. Judge Letitia Verdin, South Carolina Circuit Court Seat 2, in the 13th Judicial Circuit did just that.
According to ABC15 Judge Verdin saw fit to let Justin Teeter Bensing off the hook for soliciting sex from an undercover officer during a pedophile sting in Greenville, South Carolina. One would think that finding a man who clearly has the desire and has provable actions that points to him seeking out underage minors for sex would be someone behind bars for a considerable amount of time. After all, people with simple possession have been known to receive years in prison on a first time offense.
Mr. Bensing, not only didn’t receive any prison time, but he is now a free man who lives in Myrtle Beach which is well known for its beautiful beach view. Such a wonderful retirement for a child sexual predator to find himself at. It’s almost as if he got a vacation from his days of seeking out children to have sex with.
Now that he is tired from his slap on the wrist from Judge Verdin he can now rest and retire to thoughts of additional children since people like him should be behind bars to prevent any harm to a child. The next time you’re in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina you may want to watch your kids a little closer. Pedophiles are known to hang around beach fronts because children tend to play on the beach during the summer months. At least now we know that if a child is snatched up you can’t necessarily rush to conclusions and blame a shark or not at least not a shark of the fish variety.
When asked to explain herself Judge Verdin decided to shed some light on her decision:
Rarely, a judge will explain their decision to the media. In this case, a public information officer for Judge Letitia Verdin told us a number of things influenced the judge’s decision, including Bensing having no record, and the fact that Bensing didn’t travel when given the opportunity.ABC15. https://wpde.com/news/abc15-investigates/abc15-investigates-who-really-lives-next-door
The really strange part about all of this is that people in South Carolina have routinely faced more time in jail for considerably less. If the people of South Carolina were asked if they’d want a person like Mr. Bensing in prison over someone who was convicted of simple possession then most would likely say that our beaches could use less child predators. However, in the state of South Carolina it is true that Mr. Bensing faced less time than what many have faced for things such as simple possession of marijuana.
The truly alarming part about this story is, not so much that Mr. Bensing is a free man despite what he did, but that Judge Verdin was actually a family court judge. That means that a person who, essentially, let a man who wanted to prey on children walk free was in charge of deciding the best interest of children in family court cases. If that doesn’t scare the living daylights out of you we aren’t sure what will.