New trial date set for ex-attorney Mark Benavides

Benavides faces additional continuous human trafficking charges

SAN ANTONIO – Former attorney Mark Benavides was in court Thursday for a pretrial hearing.

Benavides, who was sentenced in April to 80 years in prison on continuous human trafficking charges, is named in a new indictment containing similar allegations.

"It has four different complainants, or victims, in the indictment," said assistant district attorney Meredith Chacon.  "So, it's an entirely new trial."

Several victims in April testified that Benavides had sex with them in exchange for his legal services and that Benavides made video recordings of the sex sessions.

The new trial, set for Oct. 1, will include similar evidence, Chacon said.

"There will be new victims presented, and I think that you will see that some of it is very similar," she said. "That is how predators work."

When asked why, given his 80-year sentence, the state is going forward with the new trial, Chacon replied, "I think that each of the complainants deserve their measure of justice, and so I feel like we need to put forth those cases to make sure that we send a message."

Prosecutors asked that the new trial be moved from San Antonio on a change of venue. 

State District Judge Dick Alcala set a hearing on the motion for July 20. 

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