Rape and domestic violence charges against a man who had three prior domestic violation convictions from Hillsboro Municipal Court were recently dropped by the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office because the accuser in the case did not want to proceed with prosecution, according to court documents.
Donald Brandon Bennett, 46, Bloomingburg, was arrested by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office on April 15 this year following reports that a woman was allegedly the victim of a physical and sexual assault, and was held against her will during the incident that allegedly began on the evening of April 13 and continued into the early morning hours of April 14.
The woman — a former acquaintance and live-in partner of Bennett — alleged that Bennett had asked her over for dinner that evening. It was also reported that Bennett had brandished and threatened the victim with a firearm.
Bennett was later indicted on two first-degree felony rape charges and a third-degree felony domestic violence charge. All three counts were dropped by the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office.
“Since the indictment occurred, we continued to receive information through the discovery process involving the defendant and victim that led us to believe that the likelihood of a conviction was going to be nearly impossible,” Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade said.
A document signed by Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven Beathard read that the state “has been made aware the victim in this case does not wish to proceed with prosecution.”
The original domestic violence charge against Bennett was classified as a third-degree felony because he has three prior domestic violence convictions in Hillsboro Municipal Court from Aug. 25, 1995; Sept. 21, 1995; and Nov. 24, 1995, according to court documents.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica.