Former Global TV reporter pleads guilty to sexual assaults
By JENNIFER SALTMAN, The Province July 26, 2012 10:29 AM
Former Global reporter Ron Bencze arrives at court in Surrey on July 26, 2012. Photograph by: Wayne Leidenfrost , PNG
Former Global TV reporter Ron Bencze has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting one of his son’s friends.
Bencze, 45, appeared Thursday morning in B.C. Provincial Court in Surrey. The assaults took place between March 15, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2010.
The victim’s mother went to police las January after finding sexual text messages from Bencze — using his work phone — on her 14-year-old son’s cellphone.
Bencze’s relationship with the boy began when the victim was around eight to 10 years old and the abuse included masturbation and oral sex.
The contact often occurred during sleepovers.
The victim’s mother was in tears as the assaults were described for the judge.
Crown prosecutor Jennifer Lopes is seeking a custodial sentence of two to three years.
A victim-impact statement from the victim, who is now 16 years old and cannot be identified because of a publication ban, said he felt confused by Bencze’s advances.
“I am relieved that it has stopped,” he wrote.
He said the assaults have had an emotional impact — he often feels frustrated.
“I feel that I have missed out on a childhood that was meant for me, not the tainted one I have experienced,” he said.
The teen’s mother wrote in her statement that she and her husband feel guilty they didn’t know what was happening.
“[My son] has lost his innocence,” she wrote. “This has been devastating to us.”
She said the Bencze family has tried to discredit her son in the community, causing her family to become socially withdrawn.
“It did happen and it isn’t a lie,” she said.
Bencze was initially charged with three counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual interference and two counts of invitation to sexual touching involving three people under the age of 16. He also faces a charge of breaching his bail conditions.
Last April it was announced that Bencze no longer works for Global. He had been employed by the station since 2004. He was also suspended from volunteering as an assistant soccer coach at a Surrey club.