Brooklyn Federal Court Judge shows leniency in sentencing sex offender
U.S. District Court Judge Jack Weinstein was in a sympathetic mood when he sentenced a pimp to five years in prison Wednesday, deviating from a guideline sentence of up to three decades for trafficking minors in Brooklyn.
Weinstein explained that he thought defendant Jayson Benjamin would be a “broken man,” if he spent the next few decades behind bars.
“Even 10 years will have the same adverse impact,” Weinstein said in court. “I believe he can be rehabilitated. I’m impressed by his sincerity.”
Weinstein also sentenced him to life of supervised release, where Benjamin must register as a sex offender and avoid contact with minors.
In Dec. 2013, Benjamin, then 31, was caught having sex with two girls, ages 12 and 13, and hooking them up with other adult men to have sex for cash, according to court documents.
A recent mental evaluation showed Benjamin wasn’t a pedophile, but suffered from drug and alcohol addiction, according to Benjamin’s attorney Len Kamdang.
“His substance abuse issue is what led to his poor decision-making,” Kamdang said. “He’s treatable.”
Benjamin sat with his hands folded next to his mother, cousin and aunt at a one-table sentencing shared by all parties, including the judge.
He told Weinstein he used to smoke marijuana and take illegal pills, including ecstasy.
He has been in jail for a total of 41 months since April 2014.
“The last 41 months has been a very humbling experience for me,” Benjamin told the judge. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get better and change my life.”
After his two victims cooperated with the police to ensure his arrest, Benjamin helped the feds prosecute multiple fellow alleged sex offenders, leading to a 15-year sentence for one.
The underage sex ring started when Benjamin began talking with the 12-year-old girl on Facebook.
“How old are u hun.” Benjamin wrote to her on Dec. 13, 2014.
“15,” she untruthfully replied.
“I got da connect to scamsss and moree anything u wanna do for fast money I got the link,” a criminal complaint showing the conversation read.
The two would meet at a Burger King on the corner of Church and Nostrand avenues in East Flatbush.
When they first met, he took her to a nearby business and masturbated with her feet before performing oral sex on her, according to the complaint.
More Facebook conversations, made available after a search warrant by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter, showed Benjamin arranging the girl to have sex with another man for $60.
The girl eventually recruited her 13-year-old friend.
He was caught when the first girl picked him out of a photo line to police.
Benjamin will serve 1 1/2 more years, credited for his time already served.