For release on February 3, 2016  CONTACT:
Sean Webby
Public Communications Officer
(408) 792-2997   DA SEEKS DEATH PENALTY IN CHILD MOLESTATION MURDER CASE   Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen is seeking the death penalty against a defendant accused of murdering a toddler as a result of a brutally violent sexual assault and molestation.
The two-phase capital case against 41-year-old Alejandro Benitez will be decided by a jury. If the jury convicts the defendant of the 2012 murder of 16-month old Kaden Bernard, they will then decide if he should be sentenced to death. The case will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Dan Fehderau.   The decision marks the second time the District Attorney has sought capital punishment. The capital case against Antolin Garcia Torres, accused of murdering teenager Sierra Lamar, is set for trial this year.
“My decision to seek the ultimate punishment is based on a comprehensive analysis of the defendant’s  actions,” District Attorney Rosen said. “This was a nightmarish and extremely violent crime against the most vulnerable of all victims. It is the worst of the worst.”
Benitez is accused of molesting and murdering the toddler on April 11, 2012 at the San Jose home of his girlfriend, who was the child’s regular babysitter. The defendant murdered Kaden while committing certain acts during the sexual assault. An autopsy revealed that Kaden had over 40 different injuries - both old and new, internal and external - covering his body from head to toe. Forensic DNA testing of evidence taken from Kaden’s clothing and body revealed the sexual nature of the crime and identified Benitez as the perpetrator.
To ensure that the defendant receives a fair trial, the DA will not be making further comments about the decision at this time, nor is he accepting interview requests from the media on this subject.   Capital Case Protocol     # # #

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