A 28-year-old Washington C.H. man pleaded guilty Tuesday to raping his 6-year-old niece and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.
As part of a plea agreement with the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office, Benjamin L. Knisley, of 1025 Dayton Ave., Lot 12, pleaded to two first-degree felony counts of rape. Eight counts of rape and five counts of gross sexual imposition were dismissed as part of the agreement before Fayette County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Beathard sentenced Knisley.
“(Knisley) is nearly 29-years-old and we know that he will serve 30 years before he even sees a parole board,” said Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade. “Generally speaking, people usually don’t get released at their first parole board hearing. So he very well may still spend the rest of his life in prison. With this agreement, there is a certainty of conviction, and it eliminates any uncertainties that can come up with a trial.”
Knisley was scheduled to go to trial today. He originally pleaded not guilty at his June arraignment, but later changed his plea to “not guilty by reason of insanity.” He was then scheduled for an insanity and competency evaluation, and was found competent to stand trial.
A report was made May 4 alleging that an adult male was having sex with a 6-year-old female, according to the Washington Police Department. Following the investigation, Knisley was arrested May 24. He was being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $1 million bond.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica