A Douglas County judge Friday ordered a 19-year-old Perry man to face a trial on aggravated child endangerment charges after being accused of choking his former girlfriend dozens of times.
District Judge Sally Pokorny rejected a defense argument the charges against Trevor J. Benedict should be dismissed because the 17-year-old girlfriend testified the choking acts were consensual and she reported she was not injured.
“Consent simply isn’t a defense when it comes to a child who is under the age of 18,” Pokorny said.
The judge also said there was evidence Benedict still put the girl’s life in danger and the girl was harmed because prosecutors had evidence he also cut her with a razor blade. Pokorny said the factual questions were for a jury to decide.
The girl testified Wednesday at a preliminary hearing she consented to having Benedict choke her during the several months they dated beginning in December 2010 and she lost consciousness during one of the incidents at her Douglas County residence. A Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy also testified investigators believed she became unconscious one other time last August outside her job at a Lawrence restaurant.
The girl said she did not believe Benedict should face criminal charges, and her parents made the initial report to police, according to testimony Wednesday.
Douglas County prosecutors have charged Benedict, who was a Kansas University student at the time of his August arrest, in an adult case with two counts of aggravated child endangerment. He also faces an aggravated child endangerment case as a juvenile because prosecutors allege some of the incidents occurred before Benedict turned 18.