12 Year Old Vermont Girl Brooke Bennett’s Death Ruled A Homicide … Michael Jacques & Ray Gagnon Ordered Held for Trial
Brooke Bennett had been missing since June 25, 2008 when her body was found a few miles away from where her uncle, Michael Jacques, a previously convicted and registered sex offender lived. The uncle, Michael Jacques, has been in custody on charges of aggravated sexual assault against a different under age girl.
Michael Jacques, who is accused of abducting his niece, Brooke Bennett, was ordered held until his trial on a federal kidnapping charge. His attorney, Michael Desautels, did not ask U.S. Magistrate-Judge Jerome Niedermeier to release Jacques.
Preliminary reports from Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan has stated that 12 year old Brooke Bennett’s death has been ruled a homicide. The exact cause of the homicide will be determined upon final autopsy results.
Nolan said Brooke’s death was a homicide, but he didn’t say how she was killed. No one has been charged with her death. State police say it could take eight weeks before autopsy results are available.
Jacques could face the death penalty if convicted under federal law of kidnapping resulting in Brooke’s death.
Prosecutors say Jacques, 42, abducted Brooke on June 25. After a weeklong search, she was found buried about a mile from his home in Randolph, about 50 miles southeast of Burlington.
More information in the disappearance and death of a Randolph pre-teen. New charges against Brooke Bennett’s former step-father — Ray Gagnon — released Monday, in his former home-state of Alabama — for child porn. And uncle Michael Jacques was officially arraigned on federal kidnapping charges.
The State of Vermont, its law makes, judges and the media should be all ashamed of themselves. They have all been complicit in the lack of laws against convicted sex offenders. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BROOKE’S DEATH!!!
The result of Vermont’s lack of laws, Vermont’s caring to protect children or any real understanding of child predators … Brooke Bennett is dead and never had a chance. Disturbing details emerge in the Brooke Bennett case; however, this is not the first time we have heard such heinous stories out of Vermont when it comes to child exploitation and sexual assault. In the case of Brooke Bennett, all of the above and include her murder.
As it turns out, the death and sexual abuse of Brooke was not an isolated case, but a sex ring. One created by a individual, Michael Jacques, who was a convicted sex offender and on Vermont’s Sex Registry. All the while, he was sexually assaulting girls.
This is not the first time that child rapists have been given a light or little to no sentence when it has come to the sexual assault of minors. When confronted with the lack of laws protecting children in Vermont in the past, what did the media do? They attacked those that would make the point public and protected the pedophiles.
“You may be looking at the worst judge in the USA.” And several Vermont Republican lawmakers have demanded he resign or be impeached.
The reason: Cashman sentenced a child molester to just 60 days of jail time — a sentence he said was designed to ensure the man got prompt sex-offender treatment but critics say was too soft.
“As far as we’re concerned, Cashman’s district can hereby be considered a predator’s sanctuary,” wrote the Caledonian Record newspaper of St. Johnsbury. “As long as judges like Ed Cashman are allowed to sit on Vermont benches, children cannot be considered safe.”
There is sad news tonight out of the state of Vermont. The body of 12 year old Brooke Bennett was found dead at approximately 4:45 EDT. The police called the death “clearly suspicious” but declined to give details before a planned briefing Thursday morning. The body of a missing 12 year old Brooke Bennett was found hours after documents surfaced that accused her uncle of planning to initiate her into a child sex ring.
Earlier Wednesday, in an affidavit unsealed in U.S. District Court in Burlington, the FBI said an unidentified 14-year-old girl told investigators she was present on June 25 when Jacques, 42, tricked Bennett into thinking she was going to a party and took her to his Randolph home to be initiated into a sex ring.
The girl said she was led to believe the 12-year-old “would have sex with adult males” during the initiation.
The teenager said she and Bennett watched television for a while before Jacques told her to leave and took his niece upstairs. The witness said she left the house with her boyfriend and didn’t see Bennett again.
Rest in peace Brooke, from all that we have heard with arrests and sick behavior in this family … Brooke is finally at peace and safe.
BETHEL, Vt. – The body of a missing 12-year-old whose uncle allegedly planned to force her into a sex ring the day she disappeared was found Wednesday in Randolph, not far from his house.
State Police Director Col. James Baker said Brooke Bennett’s body was found about 4:45 p.m. and her family had been notified.
The uncle, Michael Jacques, has been in custody since Sunday on charges of aggravated sexual assault against a different underage girl. He has pleaded not guilty.
Brooke Bennett’s body was found a few miles from the home of her uncle, Michael Jacques who was arrested on June 29, 2008 and charged with the sexual assault of another minor. Michael Jacques was the last person seen with Brooke Bennett on June 25 prior to her disappearance.
According to an affidavit, Michael Jacques planned to force Brooke into a sex ring.
As we have always said, once a sex offender … always a sex offender and there is no such thing as a one time rapist.
This is the same uncle that the State of Vermont had previously arrested for sexual assault on a minor and was a registered sex offender. But some how in Vermont’s infinite wisdom, he was un-supervised. When will people learn that sex offenders cannot be cured. Well, there is one cure.
New information revealed in court papers indicates her uncle did not leave her there. According to the juvenile who was with them, they took Brooke to Jacques’ Randolph home. They told her she was going to a party, but the juvenile told police she was actually being taken into a secret program called “Breckenridge,” where she’d be having sex with adult males– just as the other juvenile had been doing for the past five years, with Jacques as her “trainer.” That juvenile left the house after Jacques took Brooke upstairs — and never saw her again.
The story that Brooke may have been meeting someone she met on the online networking site MySpace– police say Jacques made that up. He showed police a posting made sometime after midnight June 25– the day she disappeared.
About 300 people gathered Wednesday night to mourn the death of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett, whose body was found near her uncle’s home a week after she had disappeared.
The gathering was originally organized as a candlelight vigil for Brooke’s safe return. Authorities found her dead about 4:45 p.m.
At the gathering, people hugged each other around the town gazebo, lit candles and sang “Amazing Grace.”
“We must realize in our community, oh God, that we are not this horrible act, that this horrible act happened to this community,” said the Rev. Robin Junker, associate pastor of the Bethany United Church of Christ in Randolph. “Bennett
UPDATE II: MySpace page used in cover-up
Police say Gagnon, 40, lives in Texas but often visited Vermont. According to the affidavit, he told police he accessed Brooke’s MySpace page from a laptop computer at his home in San Antonio after getting login information from Jacques.
Police said they have evidence that postings to the account were altered to make it appear that Brooke had discussed a secret rendezvous with someone identified as “Skittlemeup” shortly before she disappeared.
Gagnon also told police he had downloaded child pornography onto the laptop, according to the affidavit.
Authorities said Gagnon was on a regular visit to Vermont from Texas when he was arrested Monday.
The Bizarre Case of Missing 12 Year Old Brooke Bennett … Family Appearance on TV (Michael Jaques, Ray Gagnon)
What is going on in this case? An uncle 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 Bennett.
Watch the CBS Morning Show HERE of Brooke Bennett’s family on the case of 12 year old Brooke Bennett
What exactly did Brooke Bennett’s mother mean when she said … “I am hoping and praying that she was not talking to anybody regularly. I am hoping that this was something that just came up, that some body out there thought that my daughter would be of interest in some really awful thing …”
Transcripts from the Nancy Grace Show from July 1, 2008 covering disappearance of 12 year old Brook Bennett. It appears that Nancy Grace was a bit stunned by some of the comments from the CBS interview as well, let alone the fact that Brooke Bennett’s mother would allow her to be in the presence of a convicted child molester alone.
C. BENNETT: I don`t know a whole lot about that. I am hoping and praying that she was not talking to anybody regularly. I`m hoping that this was something that just came up, that somebody out there thought that my daughter would be of interest in some really awful thing. And I just hope that they bring her home safe.
She likes doing somersaults and cart wheels. I love you, Brooke. I`m not mad. Just want you home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: You`re not mad? What do you have to be mad about? I`m mad at you for letting your daughter be alone with a convicted child sex predator. You`re not mad?
You`re seeing video from the “CBS Early Show,” that`s Brooke Bennett`s mom seemingly in shock pleading for the return of her little girl.
I`m stunned, Lillian Glass. I`m stunned.
A missing 12-year-old Braintree girl was to be initiated into a sex program the last day she was seen alive, according to an FBI affidavit released today.
Authorities previously believed Brooke Bennett was dropped off by her uncle at a Randolph convenience store June 25. Instead, the uncle — Michael Jacques, 42 — picked Brooke up at the store, lied to her about taking her to a party, and brought Brooke back to his home to initiate her into a sex club called “Breckenridge.”
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.)
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.
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.
The case of missing 12 year old Brooke Bennett just got a little for strange, bizarre and complicated. 42 year old Michael Jacques, the uncle of Brooke Bennett, who left her off at a convenience store in Randolph, VT has been arrested in a separate case of sexual assault against a minor. Police are claiming that the sexual assault charge does not involve his niece, Brooke Bennett.
Investigators in Vermont charged the uncle of a missing 12-year-old girl Sunday with sexually assaulting a minor — but they said the charge does not involve his niece.
Police said their investigation into the disappearance of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett uncovered evidence that her uncle had sexually assaulted someone else. They charged Michael Jacques, 42, with aggravated sexual assault against a minor, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. (CNN)
However, there have been so many missing person cases where a “presumed” suspect in the crime is initially arrested for an unrelated crime. According to all accounts, Brooke’s uncle did drop her off in the town of Randolph. The fact that Brooke Bennett’s uncle is arrested for sexually assaulting a different minor as the case of missing Brooke Bennett is being investigated is certainly eye opening. Could it be more than a mere coincidence?
Michael Stephen Jacques
According to the AP, Michael Jacques is listed on Vermont sex offender registry. He was convicted of sexual assault and kidnapping in 1993. Maybe Vermont may want to change the law that sex offenders are supervised for life!
Sexual Offense Conviction(s) Date of Conviction
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT 07-12-1993
Conviction For Aggravated Sexual Assault: No longer supervised for sexual crime
They say Michael Jacques of Randolph, Vermont, was one of the last people to see Brooke Bennett before she vanished. He dropped the girl off at a convenience store Wednesday. They were seen together on a surveillance video before parting ways.
Jacques has been charged with aggravated sexual assault against a minor and will appear in court Monday. The alleged victim wasn’t Bennett.
The investigation of the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl zeroed in on her uncle Monday, with police searching his home while he was being arraigned on sex charges in an unrelated case, authorities said.
Michael Jacques, a registered sex offender who was one of the last people seen with Brooke Bennett before she vanished, pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual assault and was held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Col. James Baker, the head of the Vermont State Police, called Jacques a “person of interest” in Brooke’s case at a Monday press briefing.
The other girl, a relative of Jacques’, says he assaulted her over a five-year period, beginning when she was 9 years old and ending a few weeks ago, Orange County State’s Attorney Will Porter said.