Mother Found Guilty of Raping and Beating Her Stepdaughters - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/04/06 - Lufkin

Mother Found Guilty of Raping and Beating Her Stepdaughters

by Ramonica R. Jones

After two days of testimony and graphic evidence, it didn't take long for jurors to convict Bennedetha Buckjune on six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of injury to a child, four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and two counts of sexual assault of a child.

Her teenage stepdaughters, known as Jane Does 1 and 2 during the trial, told the court about horrific sexual acts they had to perform on their brothers and sisters.

Assistant District Attorney Dawn Armstrong said, "It was a very, very emotional, mentally draining trial. There was a lot of very sensitive material with the physical abuse and the sexual abuse. I think it was very difficult for the jurors. They did an extremely good job listening to all the evidence. It was difficult for myself, and I think everybody involved, because this abuse was so horrible, so horrific."

But the case is not over yet. Buckjune's husband, Joshua Buckjune, is in jail on sexual assault and injury to a child by omission charges. Investigators believe he knew about the abuse all along, but did nothing to stop it.

"After we get Ms. Buckjune's punishment assessed, then we will start either negotiations with Mr. Buckjune's attorney or we might go to a trial with him as well," Armstrong said. 

During their emotional testimony, the now 13- and 15-year-olds testified their step mom made them stand up for 24 hours at a time and would not let them go to sleep. If they fell asleep at school the next day, they would be severely beaten with belt buckles, metal rods, closet rods, and even a frying pan.

When the girls had visible bruises, they would have to miss school and clean the house.

Bennedetha Buckjune now faces five years to life in prison. A judge will sentence her after a pre-sentence investigation. That should take two weeks.

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