By Kristine Racicot
A former Ryerson journalism student whose spanking fetish led to the assault of three male students got a spanking of his own last week.
Aaron Benditt, 24, was slapped with a three-month conditional sentence and three years probation after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual assault on three male Ryerson students.
“You have a fetish that requires psychiatric intervention,” said Judge Ian MacDonnell last Thursday at Ontario Court (provincial division). “I don’t think I can deter you from having a fetish.”
He added: “This is not as unfortunate or tragic as the cases as someone taking advantage of a victim’s youth or infirmity.”
During his two years of study at Ryerson, Benditt attempted to spank one man and successfully spanked two others.
Benditt was already on probation for a similar offence in his hometown of Winnipeg when the assaults took place, for which he spent nine days in jail.
The first incident was in November, 1995, only three months after Benditt enrolled at Ryerson. Benditt knocked on a student’s door at Ryerson’s residence, Pitman Hall. He offered the 21-year-old man a job at the Ryerson games room, where Benditt was a manager. Benditt then warned the man he would be spanked if he did not follow instructions. Later, when Benditt and the victim were at Benditt’s apartment at the ILLC Ryerson residence, Benditt slapped the victim’s behind.
In April, Benditt was charged twice, the first time after an April Fool’s Day incident. Crown attorney Calvin Barry said Benditt tried spanking a 19-year-old job applicant at the games room.
“The accused told the victim if he failed to comply with the incomprehensible instructions he would be spanked. The victim thought the accused was joking,” Barry told the court.
Benditt patted the prospective employee’s behind, making “him feel uncomfortable.”
Afterwards in an office, Benditt told the teen it was “time for his spanking”, and grabbed the victim and tried to put him over his knee.
A struggle ensued, and the teen broke free, Benditt said: “So I guess you don’t want the job.” The other incident occurred when Benditt “tricked” his victim into being spanked, saying it was for a corporal punishment project.
Stephanie McDonald, a former classmate of Benditt’s , said she thought her peer was weird, but was surprised to hear of the spanking charges. “I thought he was just a nerd who was trying too hard,” the third-year journalism student said.
Along with the sentence, the judge ordered Benditt to get psychiatric treatment while on probation.