Embattled SA attorney faces sex trafficking charges

Mark Benavides faces more than 40 felony charges

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SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio attorney scheduled to go on trial later this year was indicted this week on six counts of sex trafficking, according to records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

Mark Benavides, who was a candidate for state district judge when he was first arrested in November 2015, now faces well over 40 sex-related felony charges, including possession of child pornography, sexual assault and compelling prostitution.

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Investigators say Benavides, 47, coerced some of his clients, many of whom were indigent, into having sex with him in exchange for legal services.

Hundreds of the sexual encounters, including some with at least one girl under the age of 17, were recorded on a video camera, according to previous charging documents.

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Benavides was taken into custody Friday.

The sex trafficking indictment accuses Benavides of "using force, fraud and coercion" to cause six women to engage in conduct prohibited by state prostitution laws.

The trafficking lasted between six months and 22 months, according to the indictment.

Late last month, a Bexar County judge granted a motion allowing Benavides to have his cases heard in neighboring Wilson County.

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The date for the first trial is expected to be set sometime next week, according to the Wilson County District Clerk's Office.

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