Life in prison for 3-time rape defendant

January 3, 2008 5:35:53 AM PST
A Montgomery County man faces a sentence of life in prison without parole on a child-rape conviction.

Fifty-two-year-old Gerald Bendig has had four such convictions, dating back 35 years. County Judge Steven O'Neill says that more than meets the requirements of the state's "three-strikes" law.

Bendig was convicted in May of the 2006 rape of a 10-year-old boy from an immigrant family. Five years earlier, he finished serving a maximum 20-year sentence on a 1981 chid-rape conviction in Bucks County.

In court Wednesday, Bendig questioned the motives for his prosecution, and the competence of his public defender, Alice Dietrich. Dietrich argued that Bendig was a child sexual assault victim, and noted that he has diabetes.

The judge says Bendig's case is indeed a tragedy, but the public needs to be protected.

Information from: Bucks County Courier Times,