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Mother of Convicted Animal Abuser Issues Defensive Statement

Betsy Benac, Manatee County Commissioner (Republican)

Bradenton (WTFF) – The mother of Robert Lee Benac issued a statement defending her son after he took a plea deal last week, stating that she and her family have been the subject of a “campaign of hatred and persecution.”

Manatee County Commissioner Betsy Benac released the statement late Wednesday night, reports ABC 7.

Her son took a plea deal, and will serve only 10 days in weekend jail for taking part in the sadistic torture of a marine animal in 2017. The “shark case” became infamous after the men sent a video of their cruel acts to “Mark the Shark” Quartiano.

“They sent it to me after they did that,” Quartiano told ABC 7. “I guess thinking I’d give them my blessing, and I’d just laugh it off. When I saw that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like woah who does this to any animal? What kind of human beings are you guys?”

His mother wrote that “the real cruelty has been the hate-filled media campaign that has gone on for over 26 months.”

In her statement, she said, “I am so thankful for the support of friends, family and co- workers during this campaign of hatred and persecution, led by false reporting and a social media campaign of vile and obscene lies.”

You can read the entire document here:

Statement from Manatee Coun… by ABC7 Sarasota on Scribd

Betsy Benac was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. She moved to Florida in 1982. (mymanatee.org)

Michael Wenzel also plead guilty in the case and was sentenced to 10 days in jail. Wenzel’s fishing license was suspended for five years as part of his sentencing.

Spencer Heintz of Palmetto was originally charged in the case but charges against him were dropped.

Mother of Convicted Animal Abuser Issues Defensive Statement

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