Greenville Co. Sheriff weighs in on accused child sex predator's release from jail, judge explains bond process

Justin Bensing (Source: GCSO)

Back in early February, 36-year-old Justin Teeter Bensing of Myrtle Beach was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal solicitation of a minor. Bond court documents show he was released from jail on a $20,000 cash bond with no special stipulations.

Bensing's release doesn't just have the online community talking, but also Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis.

"Overwhelmingly our Magistrates do a pretty good job at assessing bond and we really like to maintain that relationship with them but it is very, very difficult to swallow when somebody get's out on a very low bond that you know is a threat," said Sheriff Lewis.

Sheriff Lewis said Bensing was one of 14 accused child sex predators arrested in an undercover sting.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Deputies arrest 45 in 'Operation Millstone' targeting sexual predators, prostitutes

The Sheriff said Bensing talked about "physically cannibalizing" a child.

Arrest warrants obtained by FOX Carolina state Bensing communicated with an undercover deputy online thinking he was talking to a minor and "The Defendant did then knowingly sexually solicit the undercover persona by asking if the UC was ready to be a full time baby maker and sex slave."

FOX Carolina posted news of Bensing's release on Facebook and the post has since been shared over 1,000 times with many asking why Bensing was let out of jail.

Sheriff Lewis said news like that is also hard for his investigators who build cases around suspects like Bensing.

"They would never show it and they would never say it. But I know that it psychologically demoralizes them. They almost question for a brief moment 'Why did I do this?' But they know why they did it, they did it for the right reason," said Sheriff Lewis.

FOX Carolina reached out to the Greenville County Magistrate's Office to find out how the bond process works. A judge told our reporter that there are a number of factors that come into play including the nature of the crime, job status, length of residency in the state and criminal history.

A SLED background check FOX Carolina ran on Bensing revealed he didn't have any prior arrests in South Carolina.

Sheriff Lewis said that doesn't change the way he feels about this case.

"They have no moral conscience and they're out and you know that they're going to stalk another child, you know that they're going to find another victim as soon as they can. I mean these cases, statistically these cases are repetitive," said Sheriff Lewis.

The Magistrate judge noted, in all cases, setting bond is a Constitutional right for all defendants, and how it's set is a balance between the victim's, defendant's and the public's rights. The judge also said regardless of other stipulations people who bond out of jail must exhibit good behavior while out on bond and they cannot leave the state.

Bensing's next court appearance is set for April 27.

MORE COVERAGE: Officials: Suspect in Greenville Co. sting wanted to cannibalize child, sought sex slave

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