West Tennessee registered sex offender found guilty of raping young Murfreesboro girl

A Jackson man, already on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Sex Offender Registry, has been convicted by a Rutherford County jury for raping a 12-year-old girl in March 2018, in an unrelated case.

“In my experience of working child sexual abuse cases, the vast majority of times the perpetrator is someone close, someone, that is trusted,” said Murfreesboro Police Department Special Victims Unit Detective Michael Yates. “Child Predators often maneuver themselves into these positions of trust, and sadly, that was the situation in this particular case.”

A 12-person jury found 59-year-old Benjamin Hartshaw guilty of ten felonies, including rape of a child, and aggravated sexual battery last week.

Rutherford County Criminal Court Judge David Bragg presided over the trial.

Hartshaw is accused of sexually assaulting a then 12-year old while in Murfreesboro celebrating his birthday two-years ago.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Hartshaw on Dec. 17.

Benjamin Hartshaw

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