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Former lawyer on trial tried to have DVDs of sex trysts destroyed

Videos of sex with female clients recovered from Mark Benavides' home

FLORESVILLE, Texas – Jurors viewed a DVD Wednesday of an ex-lawyer who tried desperately to get his brother to destroy sex videos at his home.

The lawyer's admission that the DVDs existed was recorded at police headquarters in November 2015, when detectives interviewed Mark Benavides, who is on trial on charges that he traded legal services for sex with female clients.

Dozens of the sexual trysts were recorded on DVD, prosecutors said.

When detectives stepped out of the room during the interview, Benavides called his brother.

"I have those (expletive) DVDs in there," Benavides is heard saying. "You know what I'm talking about -- those DVDs I told you to destroy, whenever they come."

Acting on a search warrant, police searched Benavides' home while he was being interviewed at police headquarters.

Detective Manual Morales testified that police found a filing cabinet at the defendant's home containing 246 of what the detective called "pornographic DVDs" that showed Benavides having sex with women who police said were Benavides' clients.

Prosecutors plan to show six of the DVDs during the trial.

The first DVD, which was played for the jury Tuesday, was graphic and sexually explicit. The DVD showed Benavides and a 29-year-old woman who said she was a drug addict and prostitute having rough sex.

One juror fainted after viewing the video and was replaced by an alternate juror.

The trial is expected to resume Thursday before District Judge Dick Alcala, who ordered that the trial be moved from San Antonio to Floresville on a change of venue.

A conviction could mean serious prison time for Benavides.

The punishment range on each of the six counts of continuous trafficking of humans charge is from 25 to 99 years to life in prison.

Benavides is eligible for probation.


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