Bencze to appeal jail sentence for child sex assault

Judge handed admitted Surrey child molester four years in prison in August.

Surrey's Ron Bencze is appealing his four year jail sentence for child sex assault.

Former TV reporter Ron Bencze, who was sentenced to four years in jail for sexual assaulting a young Surrey boy for several years, is appealing his sentence.

Bencze, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of child sex assault in July. Eight other charges allegedly involving two other young people were stayed.

During sentencing in August, B.C. Provincial Court Judge Robin Baird referred to the prolonged sex assault as “deviant and unlawful” and handed Bencze a prison term longer than the three years Crown prosecutors were seeking.

The crime to which Bencze pleaded guilty began when the victim, a friend of the family, was in primary school and only ended when he was 14 and his mom found explicit text messages between him and Bencze.

During sentencing, the judge pointed to interviews Bencze had with a psychiatrist just last spring, where he still appeared to idealize the boy and painted himself as the submissive one in the relationship.

“The accused seems to refer to the matter as if he was swept away by the … charisma of a child,” said Judge Baird, adding that he questioned whether the abuse would still be going on had Bencze not been caught.

A psychiatrist’s report referred to in court said Bencze was not a pedophile, but immature, needy and eager to please.

In an apology read in court by his lawyer, Bencze said: “I can only do what’s right and take responsibility for what I have done. I know I have no one to blame but myself.”

Bencze was a successful journalist for years before being fired from Global BC in April 2011 after his arrest.

– with files from CTV