Sex Ring? Ray Gagnon, Step Father of Missing Brooke Bennett is Arrested & Accused of Destroying Evidence in Connection of Disappearance of Brooke Bennett


Coincidenses are starting to turn into a pattern of sick and twisted behavior in the case of missing 12 year old Brooke Bennett. Has a case of a missing girl turned into the discover of a sex ring?

The case of missing 12 year old Brooke Bennett just got even more bizarre as 40 year old Ray Gagnon was arrested by police. Ray Gagnon is being accused of obstruction of justice and is accused of destroying evidence in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett. Gagnon, who has family in Vermont, was arrested Monday night and was expected to be charged with sexually assaulting a minor last year in the Royalton area. However, his arraignment was canceled and federal authorities took over his case.


Now two people close to Brooke Bennett have been arrested on unrelated charges, as the investigation into her disappearance seems to be picking up steam.

Authorities say 40-year-old Ray Gagnon of San Antonio, Texas, is set to appear Wednesday in federal court in Burlington to answer a charge of obstruction of justice. Gagnon is accused of destroying evidence in connection with the probe into the disappearance of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett.

On Monday Brooke’s uncle, 42-year-old Michael Jacques was arraigned on an aggravated sexual assault charge.

Gagnon is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Wednesday in Burlington, VT.

Earlier this week, the 42 year old uncle of Brooke Bennett, Michael Jacques, was arrested on an unrelated sexual assault against another minor. However, police consider Michael Jacques a “person of interest” in the disappearance of Brooke Bennett. Read the affidavit HERE against Michael Jacques and the charges against him. (Warning: This document contains graphic and explicit content not suitable for children.)

Michael Stephen Jacques

Michael Jacques

While Brooke Bennett’s uncle, Michael Jacques, is charged in an unrelated child sex case, police are now calling him a “person of interest” in the disappearance of Brooke. State and federal investigators searched his home Monday.

Vermont State Police say it’s too early to know whether Brooke was part of the“Breckenridge” sex ring that led to the charges against Jacques. But they say their investigation into Jacques drastically shifted the focus of their investigation into Brooke’s disappearance.

Former Stepfather Implicated in Disappearance

The arrest of Ray Gagnon, 40, is a “byproduct” of the search for 12-year-old Brooke Bennett

Baker said Gagnon is suspected of sexually assaulting another child in 2007. He would not provide details.

Federal agents are preparing to also charge Gagnon, of San Antonio, with obstruction of justice for destroying evidence in the Brooke Bennett investigation, FBI Special Agent John Pikus said. 

Police said Gagnon’s arrest stemmed from the investigation of the missing girl’s uncle, Michael Jacques, 42, who has been charged for his alleged role in a sex ring known as “Breckenridge,” CNN affiliate WPTZ reported. The charge against Jacques, a registered sex offender in Vermont, does not involve his niece.


If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • The Bizarre Case of Missing 12 Year Old Brooke Bennett … Family Appearance on TV (Michael Jaques, Ray Gagnon)
  • 12 Year Old Vermont Girl Brooke Bennett’s Death Ruled A Homicide … Michael Jacques & Ray Gagnon Ordered Held for Trial
  • First Ever AMBER ALERT Issued in Vermont for Missing 12 Year Old Brooke Bennett
  • Body of 12 Year Old Brooke Bennett Found Dead Near the Home of Her Uncle Michael Jacques
  • Michael Jacques, Uncle of Missing Brooke Bennett Arrested for Sexually Assaulting a Minor

  • Comments

    22 Responses to “Sex Ring? Ray Gagnon, Step Father of Missing Brooke Bennett is Arrested & Accused of Destroying Evidence in Connection of Disappearance of Brooke Bennett”

    1. WTF!!! on July 1st, 2008 7:38 pm

      Good God what did the police and Feds stumble upon in the case of 12 year old missing Brooke Bennett.

      The myspace interaction that Brooke had may have been part of this sex ring that the uncle and step dad were a part of.

      Nice job VT in thinking that sex offenders cure themselves. The State of VT should be ashamed!

    2. richard on July 1st, 2008 8:39 pm

      I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but it sounds to me, at the very least, like there’s suspicion of interstate trafficking … for purposes of pornography and/or prostitution.

      Can’t happen in Aruba, as we know. But all this talk about a sex ring … was that just a way of control, or … well, who wants to think about it.

    3. richard on July 1st, 2008 8:41 pm

      At least this holds out the hope that Brooke might still be alive somewhere. Pray God that, if this is so, she is found and rescued quickly.

    4. laur on July 2nd, 2008 6:57 am

      I think it is true about what the other girl said that is a sex ring and she met 3 men. so here is 2 where is the other one? also the uncle was sending e-mails to the girl he assaulted i bet he also use myspace to get her niece.

    5. Smish on July 2nd, 2008 7:20 am

      WTF is right!
      WTF was his wife,Denise thinking?Denise finds sexual aids in her home.Denise finds this young girl in her bedroom with only a towel on and realizes the girl wasn’t taking a shower.Denise finds child porn on thier computer.Do you think Denise also knew her hubby was a child sexual predator?
      YES and I think Denise tries/tried to be as blind as a bat just like anita van der sloot.

      I say lock Denise up right along with her hubby.I would not be surprised to read that Denise is also a part of this disgusting Brekenridge gang and if she isn’t……..just think of all the suffering she could have stopped IF she had a damn brain.

    6. richard on July 2nd, 2008 7:55 am

      Here’s an update from the Burlington (VT) Free Press. There’s going to be a candlelight vigil tonight (July 2), I gather.

      A few things about this article: The stepfather has no criminal record. The previous “incident” in which Jacques was involved entailed the kidnap and rape of an EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD girl. I’m putting this in capitals because I had assumed that his prior victim was around Brooke’s age.

      The network of relationships sounds odd indeed.

      Search for missing Vermont girl in ‘critical stage’
      Burlington Free Press
      July 2, 2008

      BETHEL — The investigation into the disappearance of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett of Braintree reached what police said was a “crucial stage” Tuesday following the arrest of her stepfather on suspicion of aggravated sexual assault on a minor. Ray A. Gagnon, 40, of San Antonio was arrested by police late Monday night, just hours after Brooke’s uncle, Michael Jacques, 42, of Randolph was arraigned in Vermont District Court on an identical charge of aggravated sexual assault on a minor.

      Brooke went missing after Jacques dropped her off at a Randolph convenience store last Wednesday. Police, who are investigating whether an alleged sex ring involving men and young girls was connected to her disappearance, said Gagnon’s alleged victim was not his stepdaughter and that the incident occurred in Royalton in summer 2007.

      Gagnon will not be arraigned on the sexual assault charge — at least for now. Instead, he was turned over to the FBI for prosecution after investigators claimed he tried to impede the police search for Brooke.

      “The FBI is in the process of bringing Mr. Gagnon over to the federal side on charges of obstruction of justice related to the destruction of evidence related to this investigation,” FBI Special Agent John Pikus told reporters at a Tuesday afternoon news conference in Bethel.

      Pikus and Col. James Baker, director of the Vermont State Police, refused to say what kind of evidence Gagnon had allegedly destroyed and when the action occurred.

      “It is absolutely critical that we don’t comment on evidence,” Baker said. “We are at a very crucial stage of this investigation and for us to comment on evidence is going to jeopardize our ability to close this case out.”

      Gagnon is expected to be arraigned on obstruction of justice in federal court today in Burlington.

      Baker said Gagnon’s arrest was a “by-product” of the ongoing investigation into Brooke’s disappearance. So far, Jacques is the only “person of interest” in the case. For the second straight day police searched Jacques’ home, this time with the assistance of police dogs.

      “I believe we are making great progress,” Baker told reporters. “We are eliminating possibilities of where she may be. I just don’t want to be in the business of predicting how close we are.” He said the police had executed between 20 and 25 search warrants in connection with the case.

      Baker also declined to say whether Gagnon was part of what Jacques’ alleged victim told police was a plan to coerce young girls to engage in sex acts with a group of men connected with something called the Breckenridge program.

      “I’m not prepared to say there is a ring or not a ring,” Baker said. Police believe Brooke’s disappearance may be connected to her involvement with social network sites on the Internet, including

      Gagnon’s arrest stunned Brooke’s father, James Bennett of Bethel. He said he knew Gagnon was in police custody when he and Cassandra Gagnon, Brooke’s mother, were interviewed on a CBS television show Tuesday morning, but did not know why until later.

      Bennett said Gagnon, who broke up with Cassandra Gagnon, Brooke’s mother, four years ago when the couple and Brooke were living in Alabama, had come to Vermont last weekend after learning about Brooke’s disappearance.

      “He came because of what’s going on, supposedly to support the family,” Bennett said. Bennett said he and his wife, Ray Gagnon and Cassandra Gagnon went to church together on Sunday to pray for Brooke’s safe return.

      Baker said no other child sexual assault victims have come forward and declined to say whether more arrests were forthcoming. “I hate to tell you no and find we’re going to make other arrests,” he said.

      A Vermont court official said Gagnon had no previous criminal record. WCAX-TV reported Tuesday that Jacques’ 1993 conviction of kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault involved the rape of an 18-year-old woman in Rutland.

      The television station, citing a police affidavit from the case, said Jacques and a friend got the girl drunk. Jacques then raped her over a four-hour period after she was handcuffed, had a rope around her neck and a cloth stuffed in her mouth.

      The affidavit also said Jacques told the woman during the rape that he had raped and then killed a 12 year-old Arizona girl seven years earlier after she threatened to go to police. There is no evidence the story was true.

      Jacques was convicted of the charges and sentenced to six to 20 years in prison. He was released from state supervision in 2006 after completing a sex offender treatment program.

    7. richard on July 2nd, 2008 7:59 am

      “WCAX-TV reported Tuesday that Jacques’ 1993 conviction of kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault involved the rape of an 18-year-old woman in Rutland.

      The television station, citing a police affidavit from the case, said Jacques and a friend got the girl drunk. Jacques then raped her over a four-hour period after she was handcuffed, had a rope around her neck and a cloth stuffed in her mouth.”

      Uh … and today this guy is (or was, before Brooke went missing) out free roaming around in public? It used to be that people would spend a long stretch in prison for this sort of thing.

    8. brenda on July 2nd, 2008 8:24 am

      I believe Richard is 100% on the Interstate trafficking thing. Why feds have taken over from the state (I was a communications officer and know the routine). My feeling is Gagnon was on his “regular visit” to VT to meet Brooke. ONly thing is Brooke did not realize she was meeting a filthy dirt-bag instead of whoever she thought she was meeting.

      My biggest concern is that the destruction of evidence may have been disposing of Brooke herself. I pray not, but think she’s gone fro us by now.

      For the poster questioning the mother re: the towel incident…another 100% on the money. Woman needs to be charge with child endangerment. If I found such a thing going on, I’d be posting from jail somewhere for extremely aggravated assault on a sexual offender. What was left of him anyway…

    9. richard on July 2nd, 2008 8:38 am

      I couldn’t find, on the Vermont Sex Offender Registry, what sentence Jacques was given for the outrage mentioned above.

      Whatever it was, he was listed as “compliant” (whatever that means) and was no longer subject to supervision.

      If I were that girl, I would decide that Vermont wasn’t going to give much weight to the concerns of victims … and would get the hell out of there.

    10. richard on July 2nd, 2008 9:09 am

      Okay, folks, here’s the info on his previous sentence. Jacques knew the girl he attacked (apparently he was the only one involved in rape.)

      Sentence? SIX YEARS ….


      I kid you not.

      He also had an earlier conviction.

      Now his charge is raping a child REPEATEDLY over FIVE YEARS.

      And his new charges were of a time when he was still under state ‘supervision’ and ‘probation.’

      Anyone else feel sick to their stomach?

      Chelsea, Vermont – July 1, 2008

      We have learned more about Brooke Bennett’s uncle Michael Jacques and his prior conviction for kidnapping and rape in 1992.

      Jacques, 42, was charged Monday with raping a child repeatedly for five years and taking part in a sex ring called Breckenridge. This is not the first time the 42-year-old has been the focus of a sex crime investigation.

      In 1993, he was convicted of kidnapping and rape committed in June 1992. Court records show that the victim was an 18-year-old young woman he supervised at a fast-food business in Rutland. The records show he and a friend got her drunk and then Jacques alone forced her into his car and over the next four hours raped her several times. The police affidavit says she was choked with a rope around her neck, gagged with a cloth in her mouth, and handcuffed with police-style cuffs. Police say Jacques eventually let her go after he told her he needed help and was going to seek psychiatric counseling.

      The victim told police that Jacques said he had killed a 12-year-old girl he raped in Arizona in 1985 because she threatened to go to the police, “so he had to kill her.”

      The police were unable to confirm his claimed killing of the 12-year-old in Arizona, but Jacques did plead no contest to the charges of kidnap and rape in Vermont. In return, under a plea agreement, he got six years in prison, but was released after serving only four and half with credit for good time.

      That 1992 plea deal also required Jacques to complete the sex offender treatment program before he could be released from probation. According to the records, he did complete the therapy program, and was released from state supervision in December 2006. His new charges stem from crimes that allegedly happened while he was still undergoing sex offender treatment and still under state supervision on probation.

      Jacques does have another conviction– in 1985 in Washington County for lewd and lascivious conduct. We are working to get the records in that case.

      Read the affidavit containing the police evidence against Michael Jacques in the CURRENT case.**

      **WARNING: This document contains graphic and explicit content not suitable for children. WCAX News chose to black out some information from this document that we feel may identify the victim.

    11. richard on July 2nd, 2008 9:11 am

      Here’s the url to the story that I posted in #10:

    12. brenda on July 2nd, 2008 10:48 am

      Man, killed a 12 yr old girl for threatening to tell? Oh dear, de je vu.

      Still think the guy from TX was helping get rid of Brooke. Police are confident they will solve, hope they are equally as confident they’ll find Brooke one way or the other.

      Also, no doubt they’ve been checking for missing AZ 12 yr olds from 1985. That one shouldn’t be hard to whittle down if it’s true.

    13. The Bizarre Case of Missing 12 Year Old Brooke Bennett … Family Appearance on TV (Michael Jaques, Ray Gagnon) | Scared Monkeys on July 2nd, 2008 12:54 pm

      [...] who is a registered sex offender who has been arrested for a sex crime against another minor. A step father who has also been arrested on charges of obstructing justice and destroying evidence in the case of missing Brooke [...]

    14. brie. on July 2nd, 2008 1:43 pm

      Yes Richard, I am also sick to my stomach…

      Sounds to me like those investigating this case are on the right trail….

      Brooke may still be alive but no longer in this country….

    15. richard on July 2nd, 2008 5:34 pm

      Well, the police have said that they have found her body. God rest her soul; her suffering is over with.

      I strongly hope that the suffering of anyone and everyone responsible is soon to begin.

    16. Smish on July 2nd, 2008 6:40 pm

      I was just reading about them finding Brook’s body.How sad and I too hope they lynch that whole perverted ring of nonhumans!
      May you rest in peace now sweet Angel.

    17. janice on July 2nd, 2008 6:53 pm

      Vermont is certainly not a good state to be a resident if you want to keep your children safe. Sad situation that the prison let that sick puppy out within 3 years when he was given 12-20. The wife of that sick idiot knew all this was going on and looked to other way. The mother of the girl didn’t care and let her daughter be preyed upon. What is wrong? Why are we not protecting our children? I believe the judge that makes the mistake of letting these sick puppies out too early should be penalized. I even believe that anyone that is charged with molesting a child should not be let out of prison. Let’s ship them all to some remote island and get them out of our country all together. Dear God, please help us. Our country is going to the ‘crapper’ because our legal system is failing our children and others like the elderly and helpless….One thing I do know is, those individuals that let this happen including the mother of the girl will answer have to a higher power…..eventually.

    18. JUSTICE SERVED … Texas Man James Kevin Pope Sentenced to 4,060 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault of Three Teen Girls | Scared Monkeys on July 3rd, 2008 9:42 pm

      [...] about time that a state got tough on child abusers, unlike Vermont. There is a reason why child rapists run to Vermont and out of Texas. Some states are just havens for pedeophiles. Share [...]

    19. jerald johnson on March 31st, 2009 12:22 pm

      ray was a good friend of my family… we love u ray

    20. jerald johnson on March 31st, 2009 12:38 pm


    21. randy stanford on March 31st, 2009 12:39 pm

      thats my number not his i also love ray we live together

    22. jerald johnson on March 31st, 2009 12:41 pm

      dont tel my daddy he might rape me

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