California State Bar Charges Santa Clara Prosecutor with Misconduct, Disbarment Possible

The California State Bar has charged Santa Clara deputy district attorney Troy Benson with five counts of misconduct, including suppressing evidence and then lying to cover it up.

The charges stem from a 2006 child molestation case in which Benson failed to turn over a videotape that cast doubt on whether the victim was abused at all. The State Bar complaint alleges that Benson then denied concealing the evidence, even when placed under oath in court. The defendant, Augustin Uribe, served four years in prison before an appellate court overturned his conviction and condemned Benson’s conduct.

Although previously a rare occurrence, the State Bar has begun to file more disciplinary charges against prosecutors in recent years. Earlier this year, the State Bar filed charges against the Del Norte County District Attorney. Benson faces sanctions ranging from censure to possible disbarment but no hearing date has been set. It is unclear whether Benson will ask the county to pay the legal fees as it did in the case of Ben Field, another Santa Clara County prosecutor suspended in 2010.

For more, read the article in the Contra Costa Times here.
More on prosecutorial misconduct in California here.

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