By Linda Kor
A former Snowflake Junior High School teacher who was arrested a year ago for his involvement with a student has once again been charged with crimes relating to that same student.
Last January, Patrick Golden Bennett, 54, of Taylor was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and using a telephone to harass or offend after it was determined that he had provided a student with a cell phone to communicate directly with him. Bennett resigned from his position at the school and an order of protection was obtained against him for the minor. A month later it was reportedly discovered that Bennett had continued contact with the student and he was charged with violation of an order of protection.
This month the Snowflake-Taylor Police Department received information that Bennett had continued to violate the order of protection. According to information provided by the department, Bennett purchased an-other phone at some point in the year and gave it to the student in order to continue their relationship. Police say it was also discovered that on several occasions throughout their relationship Bennett had sexual relations with the minor.
On Jan. 3 Bennett was arrested and charged with sexual conduct with a minor and violation of an order of protection. He was booked into the Navajo County Jail and is being held on a $50,000 bond.
Police Chief Jerry Van Winkle credited Detective Les Shumway with breaking the case, noting, “Detective Shumway was the key to opening up the hidden information and deserves credit on a job well done. His thorough investigation will be crucial to prosecuting this crime.”
The chief further stated that his department had received information that there may be other victims who have not come forward. He encourages anyone with information to contact the STPD at (928) 536-7500.
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By Linda Kor