The district attorney’s office has dismissed five of 10 felony charges against a Bristol man accused of various sex crimes against a minor.
Joseph A. Benner, 37, had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and continues to maintain his innocence. He is awaiting trial on the remaining charges. A trial date has not been set.
The state dismissed four counts of class B gross sexual assault and one count of class B unlawful sexual contact. The prosecutor, Andrei R. Maciag, cited “insufficient evidence” for an “essential element of the charges” in the May 17 dismissal.
Benner remains under indictment on one count of class B unlawful sexual contact and four counts of class C sexual abuse of a minor, according to court documents.
A series of defense motions allege that the minor has falsely accused other adults and juveniles of physical and sexual assault, and say she has motive to falsely accuse Benner.
Benner crashed a motorcycle April 22, 2018, while he was wanted on the charges. He suffered a skull fracture and other injuries and was later charged with operating under the influence.
The OUI charge was dismissed in a plea deal involving a conviction for reckless conduct and a $575 fine.
Benner remains free on $1,500 cash bail. His bail conditions prohibit contact with the minor or any child younger than 16, with the exception of certain relatives under their parents’ supervision.