Ooltewah man sentenced to 12 years for aggravated sexual battery, kidnapping of prostitute

  photo  Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Tyler Michael Benson, 35

A 35-year-old Ooltewah man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for aggravated sexual battery in connection with the kidnapping of a prostitute, court records show.

Tyler Michael Benson pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery and aggravated kidnapping as part of a plea agreement with state prosecutors, court records show. Several other charges, including aggravated assault, rape, patronizing prostitution and possession of prescription drugs without a prescription were dismissed in exchange for his plea.

The charges stemmed from an incident July 19, 2021, court records state.

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Benson picked up a prostitute in downtown Chattanooga and took her back to his home. She was held captive for about 18 hours at his house on Torbett Lane in Ooltewah.

A mail carrier eventually spotted her fleeing Benson's home and contacted authorities.

He was arrested three days later, court records show.

Benson was sentenced last week before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Amanda Dunn, court records state.

He served 2 1/2 years in jail prior to the judgement and will receive credit for time served.

When Benson is released, he will be on supervision for life and must register as a sex offender, court records state.

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Last year, Benson's mental state was evaluated by the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute after he appeared to lack the ability to consult with his attorney or have a factual understanding of the case against him.

"The evaluator's opinion is that severe mental disease or defect did not prevent the defendant from appreciating the nature of wrongfulness of such acts," court records state.

In 2014, Benson pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of a prostitute in Hamilton County Criminal Court, court records show. He received a four-year sentence.

Contact Sofia Saric at ssaric@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.

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