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Fillmore man charged with child molesting in incident at Brazil park

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(Photo)
Zachary Lee Benassi
BRAZIL -- A 19-year-old Putnam County man was arrested early Monday on allegations of child molesting, Indiana State Police at Putnamville reported.

Fillmore resident Zachary Lee Benassi was taken into custody in Greencastle at 2:19 a.m. Monday. He was incarcerated in the Clay County Jail for one count of child molesting, a Class B felony.

Bond was set at $25,000 with no 10 percent allowed.

The Clay County incident in question reportedly involved a 13-year-old female acquaintance from Brazil, State Police said.

The investigation began May 11 when ISP detectives were made aware of the allegations against Benassi by the Brazil Police Department.

During the course of the investigation, information and evidence led detectives to believe that on the afternoon of April 23, Benassi reportedly coerced the young female into sexual relations at Forest Park in Brazil.

Days later, a member of the victim's family reported the alleged incident to the Brazil Police Department.

The case was investigated by ISP Det. Sam Stearley. Assisting were ISP detectives First Sgt. Jeff Hearon and James Dungan.


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Seems to me the Benassi family are menaces to society and need help. More than once I have seen their name printed in the Banner over the last several months.

-- Posted by naripon on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 12:18 AM

Whats wrong with that boy?

-- Posted by etphonehome on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 5:59 AM

Don't condemn the entire family. We all have skeletons in our closets.

-- Posted by Hazel on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 6:27 AM

By the looks of his facebook, he has some high school girl pregnant. She's further along than having conceived in April so I wonder if it's the same 13 year old he got arrested for, or a different teenage girl? He must be a first class loser if the only relationships he can have are with little girls. I'm pretty sure it was the dad that was just arrested for meth in Filmore, the sister was just in the paper for being a runaway, another Benassi, also of Filmore was arrested last year for domestic battery and strangulation, Tonya Benassi was the woman that ran over her husband and then went back to jail for violating probation, and now this guy is a child molester. What a drain on society this family is.

-- Posted by putnammom on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 8:32 AM

This family has a histroy of mental illness, drug use, and violence. They have enough hate, you would be better to pray for them. Ask yourself what you did to help the family. Ask what your doing to help a family in a situation like this....then toss your stones at their glass walls.

-- Posted by PassingThought on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 11:20 AM

I have read numerous news stories about the Benassi family and I agree with PassingThought..pray for the family. No one knows what people are going through. I am not saying ANY of the behavior/crimes are acceptable in anyway..just saying that maybe if people prayed instead of judged things would be different...

-- Posted by lcullen on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 2:34 PM

This boy got a 14 year old girl pregnant over the last few months. I know the girl and her family. And she's not the same girl they are talking about in this article! There are also rumors going around that he has also gotten 2 other young girls pregnant as well.

-- Posted by momof2ingreencastle on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 2:57 PM

I believe his mental capacity could be that of a boy and not a man. I hope he gets the help he needs.

-- Posted by kbmom on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 4:02 PM

You know what people get a life and quit sitting here critisizing him and everyone you get on here and critisize everyone's jot perfect and by any means what Zach has done is not right but the son he has on the way is with one of my best friends and all you guys are doing is putting stress on her I am solo sick and tired of all you guys running your mouths about stuff you have no clue about! So if you could start keeping your comments to yourself okay and maybe this other 13 year old should have been kept an eye on better by her parents and she shouldn't have lied to Zach about her age so in a way its her fault he just has to take the blame for it! Yea but you guys didn't know about that did ya! So keep your traps shut thank-you and have a wonderful life

-- Posted by iloveyou_always2013 on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 5:12 PM

Looks to me that a snippin' is in order of this young man to prevent any future pregnancies...

-- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 6:31 PM

For what all i have read on here, half of these comments are rediculouse. i am the girl thats pregnant by him. && they people having my name in your mouth should stop. you guys do NOT know any story of what happend, this 13 year old lied about her age. && dont just keep saying more bad things about him just because of his family, yes i do agree his family has went down the wrong road, and in the past so has he, but if this little girl wouldnt had lied about her age, non of this wouldnt had happen. The 13 year old also has done this to someone else, and that little girl really needs some help, im not just saying any of this because im the mother of his child, but because he does not deserve to be in a mess like this with a son coming. so please stop posting rude comments and criticizing him.

-- Posted by KRM on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 6:42 PM

Oh yeah because you know a 13 year old looks so much like 18. You know he could of asked 1 question to avoid this, let me see an i.d. There is no way this suppose 13 year old look of age. So even if she did lie, any sensible adult would have better judgement, to know a 6 year gap.

-- Posted by Putnam69 on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 7:09 PM

13 will get you 20!

-- Posted by 1stamendrights. on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 9:52 PM

i never said she said she was 18, she said she was 16, so stop your smart comment. and now these days girls dont look like there real age!

-- Posted by KRM on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 10:42 PM

I don't believe that this is a molestation case. This sounds more along the lines of statutory rape. I just pray for the child that is going to come into this world.

-- Posted by 1stamendrights. on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 12:05 AM

I can't believe, as this guy's girlfriend, you would come on here and defend him! Let's say we forget her age for a minute. He is supposed to be with you. You are having his child. He has sex with someone else (allegedly believing she was 16) and you defend him and get angry when people bad mouth him?? The fact he had sex with someone else should be enough for you to agree with us, not defend him! He deserves what he gets. Had he not been fooling around with a girl he obviously didn't know well enough to even know her age, she wouldn't have had the opportunity to lie and he wouldn't be in this mess would he? I will also pray for the child coming into all of this. He has a tough road ahead of him :(

-- Posted by putnammom on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 1:24 AM

To Putnammom: Your a hypocrite! You say "you will pray for the child coming into all of this". But, then you state false information about him and his family. Gossiping and praying...hhmmm...maybe, you should work on yourself, before condemning others! If your going to "try" to give the facts about the Benassi family, at least get them right! Also, your username is putnammom. So, if your a mother, why are you stalking him on facebook and arguing with children on here? Maybe, you should spend your time more wisely and enjoy your summer with your kids. Instead of meddling in other peoples lives!!

-- Posted by treasa74 on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 8:43 AM

Ant noone perfect. Where was mom and dad when the girl was alone at the park. There also to blame for this. This is what teens do and it is disturbing, I blame stuff like this on poor laws on letting your kids have more rights than parents do. We cant whip them, we cant talk to them like they do us, the internet is the worst, they all have to text and have phones, kids are hard to raise and theyll do as they please, so if you perfect people out there who live comfterable with no money and family problems and you complain about people and judge them when in fact u never fought there battles in there heads on what theyve been through you should be more helpfull and supportive of all this before putting judgement on others.. The banner shouldnt of worded the headlines like hes guilty, thats what courts are for. As far as the 13 year old has to say, was this a willing thing or not. Im not saying it was and I feel bad saying that, but this is what teens do these days. It is sick thinking of it, but speak the trueth, dont lie....

-- Posted by etphonehome on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 9:53 AM

After he stole a bunch of stuff from my store (and was arrested for it), nothing anyone says about him would surprise me.

Any child of his will end up in the system within 13 years, just like he has been for years and years.

-- Posted by Cian on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 12:24 PM

Treasa..what have I said that was so "false"? Everything I said was straight from the recent Banner Graphic articles. Maybe I was incorrect on the exact relationship of the Benassis to each other. But I did say "I'm pretty sure" not that I was 100%. So I apologize if that was incorrect. Zach "was" facebook friends with my 17 year old son. That's how I knew about the high school girl he got pregnant. I am a mother, and I DO check my son's friends out on facebook. It's not stalking, it's good parenting. Something several parents in this entire situation need a lesson in. Instead of defending this ADULT who has obviously had sex with at least 2 minors, call it like it is. And thanks, I am enjoying my summer with my family. Just becase I have an opinion, even if it's different from yours, about this guy and his family, that doesn't make me a bad mother. Also, I'm not arguing with children on here, I'm telling her what any mother SHOULD be telling her. To stop defending this guy and get rid of him. He is bad news. You don't have to be a genius, or even know him personally to know that. Would you want your young daughter mixed up in all this?

-- Posted by putnammom on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 12:38 PM

I was wrong, it was the uncle that was arrested for the meth. The father is the one that was killed after being run over. I apologize for stating the wrong relationship. Search the name Benassi in the Banner, you will get a whole page of articles with criminal activity involved. That's not gossip..it's facts.

-- Posted by putnammom on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 12:55 PM

At the end of the day Zach has needed help all his life, many people including myself have tried to help, His Grandfather has tried to steer him in the right direction, Zach's IQ is low and he needs supervison and always will need the support, By the way his dad was not run over by a car, he was killed in a car accident that was caused by Zachs mom who was convicted for this senseless act !

-- Posted by NPmom66 on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 4:27 PM

He should share a cell with Sandusky!

-- Posted by 1stamendrights. on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 9:41 PM

Wow, no wonder there are so many problems in the world. Do the people of Greencastle have nothing better to do than gossip and make snide comments. It is apparent that Zach has had a troubled life. Does anyone care? Does anyone care that his mother killed his father intentionally in a car accident? Do you think he has had an easy life? No, instead you continue to make ridiculous comments. Why doesn't someone step up and try to help this young man? Oh wait, you are too busy typing in your stupid comments. I am sure that all of you knuckleheads have the same kind of problems but keep them hidden. Someone needs to step up and offer assistance to Zachary. Life is what we make it. Are all of you negative people too busy to help someone or just plain stupid?

-- Posted by KNOCKITOFF on Tue, Jul 17, 2012, at 11:04 AM

If the victim lied about her age why would he enter into a plea agreement and not use mistake of age as a defense?

-- Posted by tsommers1184 on Sun, Feb 16, 2014, at 2:43 PM


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