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Greenville: Ex-con molests 6-year-old and 8-year-old after breaking into their apartment
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Jersey City man, 21, faces charges of molesting 6-year-old and her 8-year-old sister after breaking into the apartment to rob their sleeping mother

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
By MICHAELANGELO CONTE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

A Jersey City man released from prison three months ago was arrested Sunday on charges he molested a 6-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl after climbing through a window to enter a Greenville home, officials said.

Andrew Benthall, 21, of Clinton Avenue, was arrested at 10:20 p.m. by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office's Special Victims Unit and charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, burglary, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, officials said.

Benthall made his first appearance on the charges in Central Judicial Processing court in Jersey City yesterday afternoon via video link from Hudson County jail in Kearny.

Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Dill said he planned to ask a judge to set Benthall's bail at $250,000 cash-only at hearing scheduled for later in the day.

The girls' 25-year-old mother told police Benthall and others had visited the Monticello Avenue apartment on a social basis for a short time early Sunday, but when she awoke at 6 a.m. she found Benthall standing in her bedroom, reports said. She said he left through the apartment door but she noticed a window to the fire escape was wide open and that her purse was gone.

That's when her daughters told her what had happened.

The 6-year-old said she woke to find a man standing above her bed and he picked her up and carried her to the apartment door, where he pulled down his pants and hers before fondling her, reports said. He then carried her back to her bed, reports said.

The 8-year-old said she woke in bed to find her pants down and a man fondling her, reports said. She said the man told her "If you tell anyone, I will punch you in the face," reports said.

The girls' mother told Benthall's sister what happened and when the sister located him he told her he had done nothing wrong, reports said, adding that she also found he had several items from the stolen purse in his pockets.

The girls were taken to Christ Hospital, where they were met by investigators from the Special Victims Unit.

Three months ago, Benthall finished a 3-year prison sentence for drug possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, simple possession, and theft, corrections records say.

Posted on: 2010/11/23 9:31
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