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Former Carbondale man deemed sexually violent predator for abusing 7-year-old girl | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Jun. 20—SCRANTON — A former Carbondale man who admitted he sexually abused a 7-year-old girl was deemed a sexually violent predator, but his sentencing was continued so his attorney can try to arrange outpatient sexual offender counseling.

Kevin Jamerson Bennett, 46, pleaded guilty in January to one count of unlawful contact with a minor. Carbondale police arrested Bennett in April 2022 after the child reported he fondled her over and under her clothing on multiple occasions between December 2020 and May 2021.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

At a hearing Tuesday, Paula Brust, a member of the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, said she determined Bennett met the criteria as a sexually violent predator based on several factors, including that he abused the girl multiple times over a lengthy period of time and sometimes assaulted her several times in a single day.

Lackawanna County Judge Margaret Bisignani Moyle accepted Brust’s report and declared Bennett to be a sexually violent predator. She delayed his sentencing, however, after questions arose over whether he could obtain counseling locally.

Moyle postponed Bennett’s sentencing until June 27 to give his attorney, Patrick Rogan, time to investigate the matter.

The postponement marks the second time Bennett’s sentencing was continued. Moyle previously postponed the hearing in May to allow Bennett an opportunity to seek an independent sexual offender assessment. Bennett opted not to do so, Rogan said.

Bennett, who most recently lived in Smyrna, Delaware, was returned to the Lackawanana County prison pending the new sentencing hearing.

Contact the writer: [email protected]; 570-348-9137; @tmbeseckerTT on Twitter.

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