A Jackson man has been arrested after being indicted Monday, Sept. 14, by an Athens County Grand Jury on 12 criminal charges.
The charges leveled against Trea Benedict, 22, are all related to alleged activity of voyeurism, menacing and burglary. Chief among the allegations is a first-degree felony charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The superseding indictment on Benedict charges:
- Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree
- Burglary, a second degree felony
- Two counts of attempted burglary, felonies of the third degree
- Two counts of tampering with evidence, felonies of the third degree
- Menacing by stalking, a fourth-degree felony
- Two counts of petty theft, a first degree misdemeanor
- Voyeurism, a second degree misdemeanor
- Two additional counts of voyeurism, misdemeanors of the third degree.
In June, social media accounts in and around the city of Athens shared video and photographs of a male in the North High Street area. The video showed the male continuing to loiter near a house and also removing security cameras from the premises. Posts made by the Athens Police Department regarding the suspect were shared more than 500 times.
Fingerprints found at the scene matched those of Benedict and he was arrested by the Athens County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the superseding indictment filed on Monday, Sept. 14, Benedict was previously convicted of voyeurism and menacing by stalking as a teenager. In 2018, he was convicted of attempted burglary in Lorain County after following a woman home and trying to gain entry to her home with sexual intentions. He is currently on probation for that charge.
Beginning in early June, residents of a home on North High Street reported hearing and seeing someone around the residence on multiple occasions. The occupants began to find evidence of forced entry and witnessed a camera flash from outside a window on at least one occasion. The incidents continued through July. Benedict was arrested in August.
Benedict denied being in Athens despite phone locations indicating otherwise. Investigators also found photos of at least one of the residents on North High Street on Benedict’s phone.
“No one should have to fear for their own safety in our community, not the least of which includes their own home,” said Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn in a press release. “These are very serious allegations and we are pleased that the residents of North High Street can have some peace of mind now.”
Benedict is currently being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
This case was investigated by the Athens Police Department and Athens County prosecutor’s Office.