Man faces 195 counts for phone calls

A 28-year-old man is facing 195 misdemeanor charges against him for allegedly illegally contacting a witness from inside Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Court records show George P. Benson IV, was charged with one count of first-degree unlawful contact of a witness for each of the 65 phone calls made from Jan. 19 to Feb. 14 of this year.

The second set of 65 charges is from violating conditions of release in a misdemeanor fourth-degree assault case from Haines last year, according to an affidavit filed by Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams. The affidavit states in that case, Benson was ordered by the court not to contact the same alleged victim.

The third set of 65 counts are also for violating conditions of release, but for a 2011 Juneau felony case in which he was charged with first-degree tampering of a witness. The affidavit states he was also court ordered not to contact the same person.

All 195 charges “represent the same set of phone calls from Jan. 19, 2012 to Feb. 14, 2012,” Williams said.

Court records show Benson is represented by the Public Defender’s Agency and is being held in custody at LCCC on $5,000 bail. He was arraigned in Juneau District Court earlier this month, and a jury trial is scheduled for late May, according to court records.

Violating conditions of release for a felony is a class ‘A’ misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine. First-degree unlawful contact is also a class ‘A’ misdemeanor. Violating conditions of release for a misdemeanor is a class ‘B’ misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a $2,000.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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