40-year sentence in rape case
Defendant guilty of sexually assaulting two women

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Kendall Holcomb
775-328-3223 (o)

A Reno man will serve up to 40 years in prison with eligibility for parole after 16 years, after being sentenced in an attempted sexual assault case in connection to two incidents. 21-year-old Robert Benner was initially charged with two counts of sexual assault but was allowed to plead to two counts of attempted sexual assault as part of a plea bargain that was agreed to by both victims.

In April of 2022, the 16-year-old victim told Reno Police (RPD) that she was sexually assaulted by Benner the previous August, who was her boyfriend at the time. The woman stated that Benner made threats against her and coerced her into having sex in the car in front of a friend’s home. However, after a few minutes, she told the defendant to stop. Benner instead began to sexually assault the victim, holding her neck during the attack to keep her from leaving.

In May of 2022, a 20-year-old woman reported a sexual assault to RPD, saying that she had been in a previous dating relationship with Benner but the two were at the time just friends. She told police that Benner had invited her to a friend’s home a few days before and when she arrived, the defendant began drinking heavily. After helping Benner to bed, the victim said he blocked her from leaving the room, ripped at her clothing, and raped her while pinning her down.

In both situations, the women told Benner repeatedly to stop, however the defendant ignored the victims.

During sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Darcy Cameron argued that the maximum sentence was appropriate due to the nature of the offenses and lifelong impact his conduct will have on both victims, who were both present and personally addressed the judge.

The Honorable Judge Lynne Simons presided and imposed the sentence.

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation or experiences sexual assault, please contact Safe Embrace at (775) 322-3466 or the Sexual Assault Support Services hotline by calling (800) 330-0226 or texting “SASS” to 839863.

Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »