Todd Bender pleads not guilty to child molestation charges - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Todd Bender pleads not guilty to child molestation charges

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Todd Bender appeared in a Spokane courtroom Thursday afternoon to enter a not guilty plea to child molestation charges Todd Bender appeared in a Spokane courtroom Thursday afternoon to enter a not guilty plea to child molestation charges
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Appearing in a Spokane courtroom Thursday afternoon, Ferris High School Assistant Principal Todd Bender entered a not guilty pleas to two counts of Third Degree Child Molestation. It was Bender's first court appearance since turning himself in earlier this week. 


According to court documents, Bender admitted to having sexual encounters with a 14-year-old boy in 2011. When police began their investigation into the claims, Bender was placed on administrative leave from Ferris High School. His name remains on Spokane Public Schools website as the Assistant Principal. 


Earlier this month, Bender cooperated during his interview with police and gave them consent to search his car and cell phone. Bender also agreed to have his confession recorded on video and wrote a letter of apology to the victim.

Court documents cite that the first incident happened in between February 2011 and May 2011 at Bender's home in north Spokane. The victim said Bender invited him to his home to drink beer. The victim stated that Bender advised him to stay the night, so his parents wouldn't find out he was drinking. The victim then said he woke up later that night to Bender's hand inside his underwear, touching his penis. The victim said he pulled Bender's hand out of his pants, as Bender pretended to be asleep. Bender told detectives in an interview on November 4, 2014 that it was the victim's idea to sleep together and the victim was the primary aggressor and grabbed Bender's hand and placed it on his penis.

KHQ attempted to reach the victim's family for comment, but never heard back.

The second incident, according to court documents, happened on or around the 4th of July in 2011 during a camping event at Diamond Lake. The victim stated that Bender invited him and his brother. During the night, Bender allegedly told the victim that he could sleep with him in a trailer, and once inside the trailer, he was given beer to drink. Documents say a similar incident to the one earlier in the year happened when the victim woke up to Bender's hand in his pants, touching his penis. The victim said again, he pulled Bender's hand out, as Bender pretended to be asleep

Again, according to the court documents released on Friday, Bender told detectives the victim was the aggressor and participated in the sexual activity. The victim's family could not be reached for comment.

The victim stated in court documents that the third incident happened in the fall of 2011 when he turned 15. The victim said he and Bender were up at the Merkel Sports Complex chipping golf balls, and Bender gave him beer and a Kahlua Mudslide to drink. The two talked into the night, and at one point the victim said Bender reached his hand down the victim's pants, while at the same time grabbing the victim's hand trying to put it down Bender's pants. The victim resisted and demanded to be taken home.

During his interview with detectives, Bender admitted to detectives to going to the victim's house on several occasions in the middle of the night. Bender said on or around October 17, 2014 he was extremely depressed, drank a lot of alcohol and took several oxycontin. He then admitted to walking over to the victim's home and sitting in their yard for "quite some time." Bender said sometimes he would just sit on the victim's front porch for "comfort."

Court documents stated that the victim tried to suppress what had happened to him until this year, when towards the end of September, the victim's girlfriend told him that Bender had called her 14-year-old little brother and asked him to go golfing. The incident reminded the victim of what had happened to him three years earlier. Then on October 18, 2014, the victim said he was watching a 48hrs episode that involved two women who came forward years after they were molested by two teachers.

The victim said he debated for days on whether or not to come forward and finally decided to tell his parents and fearing that there may be other victims, he decided to report it to the police.

According to the documents, the father of the victim, who is 18-year-old now, reported to Spokane Police on October 27, 2014 that his son was molested by a friend of the family, Todd Bender, three years ago. The victim stated that there were three incidents of sexual contact with Bender and they all happened when the victim was 14 and 15, and Bender was 40 and 41. The victim is now 18-years-old and Bender is now 44.

The victim said Bender has been contacting him almost every day for years, before and after the alleged molestation incidents, through phone calls and text messages. Court documents show police searched Bender's phone and found he last contacted the victim on October 17, 2014. Police said Bender was asking the victim what he was doing, but the victim never responded. Documents also corroborated the victim's girlfriend's story of Bender contacting her younger brother, as Bender's phone showed he had contacted him through phone and text recently.

During the interview, Bender told detectives he had been depressed, and was crying and apologizing for what he had done. Fearing he may harm himself, detectives asked if he needed a chaplain, his family or mental health to cope with what he had admitted to doing. Bender declined and said he was going to meet with his parents to inform them of what was happening. Bender agreed to contact the detectives the next day, however court documents said Bender was admitted to a hospital the next day, suspected of taking prescription medication.

Detectives believe they have enough probable cause to charge Bender with two counts of Third Degree Child Molestation in Spokane County. Because one of the incidents took place in Pend Oreille County, detectives will forward information to law enforcement there for consideration of an additional charge.

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