DALLAS -- A Dallas County judge sentenced the man convicted of three 2013 rapes in Lake Highlands to 85 years in prison Friday for the assaults.

Cesar Benitez took the stand during his sentencing, responding to questions and talking for about 40 minutes. He wore headphones and used a translator so he could hear everything that was said translated into Spanish.

He blamed the devil and steroids for his actions.

'I don't have justification, but there are moments when evil seizes one,' a court translator read a statement from Benitez to the court. 'The evil came upon me. I just don't know the answer... I did a big error, and I know.'

Sentencing lasted just seven hours.

It began with victims and witnesses taking the stand. Victims, who were not named, explained how their lives were forever changed by the attacks.

Cesar Benitez was arrested after an anonymous tip and pleaded guilty to the attacks, which occurred in February and March 2013. He admitted his actions during sentencing Friday, though he said the devil led him to do steroids which led him to attack the women.

'I ask forgiveness from the girls and their parents and the entire town,' he said. 'This that I did was without my consent, but I did do it.' He said he was 'like a 5-year-old child that doesn't know what he was doing.'

When pressed, Benitez said he wasn't sorry for the assaults, but he was sorry for taking the steroids that he claims made him do it.

Benitez will be eligible for parole midway through his sentence.


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