A Sutter County man was sentenced to three years in state prison after pleading no contest earlier this year to committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14 years old back in 2016.
Bentley Callison Sr., 57, was arrested in May 2019 and charged with committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14 and two counts of causing willful harm or injury to a child likely to produce great bodily injury or death, stemming from incidents that allegedly took place New Year’s Eve 2016.
According to Appeal-Democrat archives, the victim, who is related to Callison, was 13 years old at the time of the alleged incident and went to the home of a family member where Callison was staying. The family member left the home leaving the victim and an 11-year-old relative of hers alone with Callison. He offered the victim shots of alcohol and she estimated taking more than five shots.
Later on, Callison allegedly grabbed the victim by the arm when she was in the kitchen and told her to be quiet. Callison then touched the victim’s vaginal area. The other girl at the house that night said while she was sitting on the kitchen floor with her legs spread, Callison sat down the same way and pulled her closer to him despite her telling him she needed space, according to Appeal-Democrat archives.
The mother of the victim contacted law enforcement in February 2018 saying her daughter was ready to talk about the alleged abuse after being reluctant to before. After the New Year’s Eve incident, Callison kept in contact with the victim and sent her flowers and hot Cheetos, according to Appeal-Democrat archives.
Since his arrest in May 2019, Callison was being held in Sutter County Jail on $100,000 bail. On Jan. 3, Callison pleaded no contest to the lewd and lascivious act count and the other charges were dismissed.
On Tuesday morning, Callison appeared in Sutter County Superior Court before Judge Laura Davis for his sentencing. Upon entering the courtroom, Callison appeared to communicate with someone in the gallery and was chided by Davis and told not to interact with anyone in the courtroom. Davis sentenced Callison to three years in state prison and ordered him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life in any new place of residence after his release. He will be on parole following his prison sentence.
Erika Barrera from Sutter County Victim Services read a statement from the victim in court. As she read from the witness stand, Callison turned his chair to his left away from Barrera and looked up toward the ceiling.
“I was young, I was supposed to be protected,” Barrera read from the victim’s statement.
The victim said in the statement that she suffered from depression following the incident in 2016 and that recently she has begun being comfortable going out in public with friends after being hesitant to do so.
“He took away my innocence but he’s not taking away anymore of my youth,” Barrera read from the victim’s statement.
Callison’s attorney Jacquelyn Stenson informed the court that her client wanted to make a statement.
“I want to maintain my innocence,” Callison said.
He went on to say he feels remorse for the issues the victim is dealing with but said he was not involved in creating the issues.
“I had nothing to do with it,” Callison said.