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Published: Wednesday, 6/8/2005

HIV-positive man sentenced for sex crimes

An HIV-positive man who had sex with two 15-year-old boys but didn't disclose that he was infected was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison.

Jeffery M. Benz, 31, of 5823 Gany Mede Drive, was convicted of felonious assault and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor on April 7 when he entered into a plea agreement in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

The sentence from Judge James Bates brought smiles and tears from the victims and their families and friends.

Judge Bates imposed two-year consecutive sentences for the two crimes, and classified Benz as a sexually oriented offender, which calls for him to register annually with the sheriff's office for 10 years.

The victims, who are now 16, each met the defendant through an Internet chat room, and later learned from others that he was HIV positive.

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