Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.

Help support the publication of case reports on MoreLaw

Date: 11-16-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Harold Lavern Benedict

Case Number: 3:23-cr-00019

Judge: T. Kent Wetherell, II

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Escambia County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Pensacola

Defendant's Attorney:

Click Here For The Best Pensacola Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory

Description: Pensacola, Florida criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography.

On June 27, 2022, a father was at Yellow River Park with his children in Milligan, Florida, and purchased gasoline for an older man who was stranded. The older man requested the father’s address and phone number to send him money, and when the father declined, the older man, who claimed to refurbish computers for a living, offered the father a laptop for his children. Upon arriving home, the father vetted the computer prior to giving it to his children, only to discover it contained child pornography. The father immediately contacted the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO) and provided the laptop. Through the investigation, law enforcement was able to link a phone number, provided by the older man, to Harold Lavern Benedict, age 73,of Crestview, Florida, a local registered sex offender due to prior convictions for Attempted Sexual Battery on a Child Under 12, and Lewd and Lascivious Act. OCSO Investigators interviewed Benedict on September 2, 2022, and he admitted to using foreign internet web browsers to obtain child pornography at least once per month. Law enforcement obtained search warrants for several of Benedict’s electronic devices and determined that Benedict possessed over 700 images of child pornography. Benedict was engaged in such conduct from at least 2019 through 2023.

“This is a case where all the pieces fell into place to expose the ongoing disturbing and criminal conduct of this individual,” said Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden. “Once again, due to the dedication and expertise of our investigators and federal partners with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, another child pornography consumer will be taken off our streets.”

“Sexual predators who repeatedly victimize children have no place in our society or in our communities,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tallahassee Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Ingegno. “Thanks to our outstanding partnership with Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, we were able to stop another pedophile from targeting our children.”

Benedict’s prison sentence will be followed by a Lifetime of supervised release. Benedict will continue to be required to register as a sex offender and be subject to all sex offender conditions.

This conviction was the result of an investigation conducted by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and the Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Callahan prosecuted the case.

Outcome: BOP for 235 months as to Count 1; Supervised Release for Life on Count 1; $100 SMA; $3,000 Restitution; $100 AVAA; Fine waived

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:


Find a Lawyer


Find a Case