LNAS Petty Officer arrested for pimping a 17-year-old girl


Behind these closed blinds, police say Naval Petty Officer Charles Benavidez ran a sort of second career -- as a pimp. They say it all came unraveled when he enlisted an underage girl from 40 miles away.

"They learned that Mr. Benavidez had been picking up and transporting a female between Porterville and Lemoore and soliciting her for prostitution," said Sgt. Dominic Barteau of the Porterville Police Department.

Police from Porterville, Lemoore and Tulare served a search warrant at the apartment and found evidence of an extensive operation. They say it even involved recording the sex acts.

"That was one of the things he offered as part of his business was that he would offer to sell the video to the people who took part in these acts with this juvenile," said Sgt. Barteau.

Investigators are using the videos to identify more suspects in the case. They say Benavidez didn't conduct his side business on the base, but other Naval Airmen may have been involved.

Neighbors say they never saw anyone in uniform walk in, but they definitely noticed something suspicious.

"My children noticed that they would come in, stay for a little bit, and then a few minutes later somebody else would come in," said neighbor Kelli Givens.

Givens says Benavidez was always nice to her, but she felt like her daughter was in danger as stranger after stranger arrived next door.

"When I did find out about it, (I was) just sick to my stomach," she said. "Because the little girl that was there last -- he switched girls every once in a while -- (she) was very young."

Benavidez is facing several felonious in Tulare County. Police say because he recorded the minor having sex acts and sold those recordings, he'll also face federal charges.

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