Moral counseling for false military honor claim - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Moral counseling for false military honor claim

SEATTLE, Wash. - A former Pacific reserve police officer was sentenced Tuesday to probation and morality counseling for false claims of military honors.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian A. Tsuchida in Seattle told 57-year-old Steve A. Bennest of Sumner that his actions were demeaning to veterans.

Documents filed in court show Bennest repeatedly claimed orally and in writing that he had been awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for military heroism. Records show he served in the Army in 1969-1972 but was not awarded those medals.

He pleaded guilty in December and could have faced up to a year in prison. Instead he was sentenced to two years on probation, community service and "moral reconation therapy," a federal probation program for those who have trouble recognizing right from wrong.

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