Trial Begins for Accused Teen Rapist

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Joshua Benson is accused of raping teenage girls, some who he met online.

    The trial is set to begin Monday for a teenager accused in a series of sexual assaults of teenage girls in the Philadelphia suburbs.

    Joshua Benson, 19, is accused of raping several teen girls in Bucks County.

    Benson remains held on $5 million bail after being charged with raping and sexually assaulting multiple underage girls -- some who he met online.

    Accused Teenage Rapist Faces Arraignment

    [PHI] Accused Teenage Rapist Faces Arraignment
    19-year-old Joshua Benson heads to court Friday on seven sexual assault accusations.

    After a series of hearings over the past few months including some charges being upgraded from juvenile court, the trial is set to begin Monday morning.

    Benson was arraigned last November on charges that he raped two young girls.

    Trial Set for Accused Teen Rapist

    [PHI] Trial Set for Accused Teen Rapist
    Joshua Benson, 19, is accused of sexually multiple underage girls. If he is convicted he could be sentenced to more than 80 years in prison.

    Originally, authorities said the Bensalem, Pa., native also violently sexually assaulted five other girls over a five-month time period when he was under the age of 18. All of the victims were between the ages of 14 and 16, officials said.

    After media coverage of Benson's arrest, another woman came forward and said he assaulted her in 2011 when she was just 17. Since the alleged assault occurred when Benson was also underage additional charges were filed in juvenile court, according to police.

    Benson moved to the area from Utah more than three years ago, shortly before the alleged assaults began, officials said.

    Benson, who cursed at reporters on his way into court following his arrest, met some of his victims on a dating website and others through friends, authorities said. They say the teen would be friendly to the girls and make them trust him before violently forcing himself on them.

    "Once he befriended them and gained trust in them where they agreed to have a very short-term relationship with him. Once he began engaging in sexual contact it immediately turned violent," Bensalem Police Sgt. Andrew Aninsman said.

    The most recent victims say they were forced to perform sex acts in the basement of a townhome along Arrowood Drive in Bensalem, officials said.

    Benson was locked up in a juvenile detention center on charges he assaulted the five girls while he was underage. He was then transferred to the Bucks County Prison after he turned 18. He has remained behind bars since.