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Sugar Cookie

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Kevin Benson hadn't yet been dating his girlfriend for a full year when he began to torture her, prosecutors say.

Benson, 32, of Lansing, strangled, suffocated and choked her, put out a cigarette on her finger and set her arm hair on fire with a lighter, his former girlfriend testified at a preliminary hearing March 18.

Benson was charged with torture, second-degree child abuse, two counts of assault with the intent to do harm less than murder, one count of attempted assault with the intent to do harm less than murder, one count of felonious assault and one count of assault and battery. His attorney, Matt Newburg, did not respond for comment Friday.

Benson told his girlfriend he liked the smell of burning flesh and said, "Maybe this will teach you a lesson," she testified.

Just hours later, he ripped her shirt off and threatened to cut her nipple off, she testified. Benson sat on her stomach and took off her ankle boot, which she was wearing because of an ankle surgery she'd had just days before.

He pulled her pants down and put a knife at the top of her vagina and threatened to cut her clitoris off, the woman testified. Benson put the knife inside her vagina as well, she said.

Benson made her stand up naked, go out in the hallway of the hotel they were staying at and walk several steps on her healing ankle before he put her back in the bed, she testified.

She said Benson told her: "I love when I get this creative."

At the time, all three of Benson's children, who were all under age 5, were asleep in the bed next to them, she said.

Although she took the brunt of the abuse, she testified, Benson's kids did not escape it.

The first time she saw Benson's violent side was when he picked his son up by the throat because he thought the boy had said something disrespectful, she testified.

She told Benson to put his son down and started hitting him, hanging on him and pulling on his arm, she testified. Benson told her it wasn't her place to interfere with his children.

"I can discipline my kids however I want," he'd told her, she testified.

She didn't know if she should call Child Protective Services or not. The children's mom had already lost custody of them and their dad was all they had left. If they got taken away, she testified, they'd likely go to separate foster homes.

She didn't call until about a month later when Benson kicked one of the girls in the torso twice, hard enough that the girl flew through the air before hitting the ground, the woman testified.
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Sugar Cookie

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I feel really bad for the children.

I honestly think she would have looked the other way at the children getting abused. I am not sure that she intervened to help the children when he abused him.
 
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