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Akron man detained on federal complaint accusing him of sex with Girard girl

By Ed Runyan

Friday, November 4, 2016

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Benny T. Hunt, 40, of Akron, is being detained on a complaint filed in U.S. District Court here by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, accusing him of sexual exploitation of a child.

He appeared in court Tuesday after being arrested. His case is bound over to a federal grand jury.

An affidavit filed in support of the complaint says Hunt is accused of having sex with a girl, 14, of Girard in his car in a Girard park and in the Motel 6 on Belmont Avenue in Liberty in June and July. The complaint also alleges he exchanged nude photographs with the girl over the internet.

The Girard Police Department began an investigation in August and learned that the girl’s mother knew Hunt from his frequent visits to an Austintown gas station, where the mother worked. She introduced her daughter to Hunt at the gas station, the affidavit says.

Two Girard detectives and an agent from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation interviewed the girl in August and learned that the relationship began in June, when Hunt texted her phone and talked to her about sex.

She informed him she was 14, but sometime in June or July, she met him in Tod Park, and they had sex, the affidavit says. They also had sex in Motel 6 other times in June or July.

Investigators posing as the girl began communicating with Hunt via her Kik account on the internet in August, the affidavit says.

Hunt was indicted by a Trumbull County grand jury Sept. 1 on several charges apparently related to the same child, but those charges were dismissed at the same time the federal complaint was filed, according to court records.