The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 16, 2012

Athens mom convicted of child sex abuse, torture

ATHENS — Editor's note: Some information in this story might be inappropriate for young people.

A Limestone County jury has convicted Suzanne Bennison, 45, of Athens, of first-degree sexual abuse and sexual torture involving her 6-year-old daughter in 2008.

Jurors received the case about 4:30 p.m. Friday after four days of testimony, and returned a verdict about 9:15 p.m.

Bennison was accused of touching her daughter's genitals and inserting an inanimate object into her daughter on multiple occasions while at their home in Athens in 2008. During the trial, the 12-member jury saw a videotaped interview of the victim describing the abuse at age 6. The child, now age 10 and living in another state, also testified in court this week about the abuse, recalling some of what she testified to four years before. 

Defense attorney Mike Lambert of Athens attempted to prove Bennison did not abuse the child but, rather, that the abuse occurred while she was in foster care.

Bennison will be sentenced Aug. 2 by Circuit Judge James Woodroof Jr., who presided at the trial. She is facing a sentence of 99 years to life in prison because she has two prior felony convictions, said Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Doug Evans, who was the prosecutor in the case. The Limestone County District Attorney's Office had recused itself from the case because attorneys in the office had represented Bennison in previous cases. 


Text Only
Local News


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee