A man already serving a 20 years to life prison sentence from Miami County for sexually assaulting minors was sentenced Monday for sex crimes in Champaign County.
Benjie D. Van Winkle, 43, received an indefinite prison term consisting of a minimum term of 10 years and a maximum term of life imprisonment for crimes in Champaign County. This sentence will be ran consecutive to the Miami County sentence creating an indefinite prison term consisting of an aggregated minimum term of 30 years and a maximum term of life imprisonment.
Van Winkle pleaded guilty to a first degree felony rape charge during a plea hearing in January. The grand jury indictment contends the charge is related to conduct with a minor between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2014.
Sixteen other charges were dismissed as part of his plea resolution in Champaign County.
Van Winkle was sentenced in Miami County last September for three first degree felony counts of rape. The first two counts of 10 years to life will run concurrently. Van Winkle’s third count of first degree rape was ran consecutively for a minimum of 20 years to life in prison and he is not eligible for early release.
The three female victims were under the age of 13 at the time of the offenses. Van Winkle pleaded guilty to the charges in Miami County in a joint plea agreement with the state to dismiss 10 counts of a grand jury indictment.
According to law enforcement officials, the alleged sexual assaults occurred outside Fletcher in Brown Township, in Troy, as well as in Champaign County. According to reports, Van Winkle confessed to the allegations in February 2015 during the initial interview with authorities.
Prior to Monday’s sentencing hearing, the court determined Van Winkle is a Tier III sex offender for life.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.