HUNTINGTON — A Huntington septuagenarian was jailed Sunday after failing a polygraph test when he was accused of sexually abusing his tenant.
Charley Edward Bennett, 77, was jailed at 1:45 p.m. Sunday. The West Virginia State Police charged him with first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of attempt to commit a felony. His bond was set at $100,000.
According to criminal complaints filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court, the investigation into Bennett started when police were dispatched to an apartment in the 100 block of 12th Street in the Altizer neighborhood of Huntington, where a woman said she wanted to report sexual abuse. According to the Cabell County Assessor's website, Bennett is the owner of the apartment complex where the alleged victim resides, which is where police were dispatched.
The alleged victim told police she was showing the defendant things in her apartment in January when he reached over and grabbed her breast and pinched her nipple. She also alleged he attempted to massage her in February.
The victim said she shoved him and went into another room before he started yelling at her about things being plugged into a wall and causing a fire hazard.
The victim said she showed a knife to the defendant and he quit.
The alleged victim told police he also attempted to touch her vagina while she was paying rent at the defendant's home in the beginning of April.
The officer contacted the suspect in June, at which time he said that the allegations were not true and that the alleged victim was making up the allegations because she was behind on her rent and he had said something to her about suspecting she was trafficking drugs.
The defendant agreed to take a polygraph exam, at which time the defendant allegedly stated "the victim was having fun just like he was having fun," and said he had not touched her breasts, but did "play with them," with the woman's consent.
She said the touching was not consensual and she wished to press charges.
Bennett is currently housed at Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.