Defendant Who Sexually Assaulted Disabled Woman Sentenced to 40 Years
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX - On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in the 221st District Court with The Honorable Judge Lisa Michalk presiding, defendant Benjamen Gilbert entered a plea of guilty to Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Disabled Person, a First Degree Felony, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
This plea was the result of the hard work of members of both the Montgomery County Sheriffs Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, who were preparing for trial on a very troubling case that began in an apartment complex in Panther Creek on January 6, 2020.
On that date, deputies were called to an apartment complex in the vicinity of Panther Creek Boulevard. There they met with a woman who was disabled but living alone. The woman reported that while she was watching the news, she heard a knock on the door. She answered the door and encountered Benjamen Gilbert, the defendant in this case. Gilbert entered her apartment and told her he was selling magazines to residents in the area. Gilbert immediately recognized the woman's disability, and taking advantage of that fact he took the woman to her bedroom, sexually assaulted her, and left her apartment. The distraught woman immediately called her mother who then called 911. Deputies responded quickly and gathered a number of items from the scene. Deputies discovered that a number of women nearby had made similar complaints about Gilbert in their neighborhood. These women reported that Gilbert was acting in an aggressive and uncomfortable manner towards them. Responding deputies were successful in locating a neighborhood doorbell camera, and upon showing a photo array to the victim, she made a positive identification of her assailant as this defendant. Prosecutors were prepared not only to show that due to the quick work of the detectives in this case, the defendant was taken into custody in less than 48 hours and confessed to the sexual assault. Detectives later verified the Defendant's statement after lab reports compared the Defendant's known DNA to evidence collected from the crime scene. As a result of this combined effort by law enforcement and the District Attorney's Office, the defendant plead guilty to the charged offense. As part of the plea agreement, the victim also has a lifetime protective order from the defendant.