Benjamin Marquez Pleads No Contest To Raping Teen Girl
A Casper man pleaded no contest Wednesday to sexually assaulting a girl who was baby-sitting his child.
Benjamin Marquez entered the plea to one count of third degree sexual abuse of a minor during a hearing in Natrona County District Court.
He could face up to 10 years imprisonment.
In exchange for the plea, Assistant District Attorney Brett Johnson agreed to dismiss a count of first-degree sexual assault at his sentencing.
Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking told Marquez that the plea agreement is between the defense and prosecuting attorneys, and she does not have to agree with their recommendation at his sentencing, which will be scheduled later.
The case began in December when the victim, born in 1999, was babysitting Marquez' infant child, according to the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office.
Marquez was at a holiday party followed by a birthday party at a bar, and then returned home with some friends for an after party.
The victim went to sleep on an air mattress in a bedroom. She told investigators she woke up with him on top of her having intercourse with her. She felt overpowered by the him, but was able to push him off.
When interviewed, Marquez recalled blowing up the air mattress for the victim, but blacked out after that and remembered nothing else.
His attorney Rich Jamieson said Marquez is pleading no contest because he could not remember anything and so could not mount a defense.
Marquez remains free on $15,000 bond.