A convicted sex offender in eastern Tennessee is accused of carjacking a woman’s vehicle, forcing her to drive to an abandoned home with her one-year-old child inside, and then raping her.
According to the Johnson City Police Department, Christoper Wayne Bennet, 48, entered a woman’s vehicle at around 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday while she was using an ATM machine in the 1800 block of West Market Street.
The suspect threatened the woman, saying he had a knife, and forced her to drive to an abandoned home on Woodlyn Road while her one-year-old child was inside the vehicle, News Channel 9 reported.
The victim was ordered by the suspect to enter the house, where he then allegedly raped her. Following the attack, the man stole her cell phone and left the woman and her child at the vacant residence.
The woman was able to get a hold of a nearby phone and call the police following the attack. Officers with the local police department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the abandoned house at approximately 5:00 p.m.
Investigators identified the suspect after viewing surveillance footage from a business near where the woman was kidnapped.
Authorities later found the woman’s vehicle “at an address associated with Mr. Bennett.”
The suspect has a lengthy criminal history, including pleading guilty to rape that occurred in 2010, according to WJHL. He is still on parole for his 12-year sentence, which began in February 2011.
Police also accuse Bennett of being involved in another car theft incident on August 10 and a burglary incident on August 22.
Bennett has been charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, robbery, burglary, three counts of theft of property over $2,500, and violating the sex offender registry.
The 48-year-old is currently being held in jail with his bond set at $250,000, an increase from the initial $121,000 when he was arrested.
His next court appearance is set for October 6.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.