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Retired New Smyrna Beach teacher accused of soliciting sex from a minor

Detectives said the suspect is known to the victim, but not through his role as a volunteer at the high school

A retired teacher from New Smyrna Beach High School is accused of soliciting sex from a minor, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
A retired teacher from New Smyrna Beach High School is accused of soliciting sex from a minor, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A retired teacher from New Smyrna Beach High School is accused of soliciting sex from a minor, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives arrested James Benefield, 61, on Tuesday afternoon.

He is a volunteer at New Smyrna Beach high school, according to detectives.

Investigators said the conduct in this case, was unrelated to his volunteer role at the school.

The sheriff’s office said detectives started the investigation after being alerted by a family member of the victim.

Investigators said when detectives talked to Benefield about the allegation of soliciting the minor for sex he admitted to having the conversation with the victim.

Detectives said the suspect is known to the victim, but not through his role as a volunteer at the high school.

He is facing charges of:

  • Soliciting sexual activity with a child
  • Child abuse
  • Providing false information to law enforcement officers during a felony investigation

Benefield remains in custody and no bail is allowed at this time, according to investigators.

The Sheriff’s Office said anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Benefield is asked to contact the child exploitation unit at 386-323-3574.


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