Officer rape charge threatens other cases

A police officer's arrest on rape charges is threatening several cases in a small Shasta County town in which he could be called as a witness.

Anderson police officer Bryan Benson is accused of raping a drunken driving suspect whom he was taking to jail on May 29. Benson has pleaded not guilty to felony charges including rape, kidnapping and assault by a public official.

Last week, Shasta County prosecutors dropped another drunken driving case against a 40-year-old woman in which Benson was the sole witness.

Shasta County Assistant District Attorney Bob Maloney said he did not know how many other cases would be similarly affected.

Defense attorneys say they likely would question Benson about the rape charge, which they say would make prosecutors reluctant to call him to the stand.

— The Associated Press

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