Man convicted of rape found 40 years later using dead 5-year-old’s identity


CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A Connecticut man is behind bars after being on the run from police for over 40 years.

According to the Department of Justice, 76-year-old Douglas Bennett was convicted by a jury in Connecticut of robbery, kidnapping, sexual contact, rape, and deviate sexual intercourse and was sentenced to 9 to 18 years in Connecticut State Prison in 1975. However, Bennett, never turned himself in to begin his sentence.

Records show, in 1977, Bennett assumed the identity of a 5-year-old who had died in 1945 and remained on the run for more than 40 years.

Bennett was arrested in Clearwater on Wednesday after a fingerprint comparison confirmed that he was the same person convicted in Connecticut in 1975. At the time of Bennett’s arrest, he was in possession of a Florida driver license bearing the false identifying information, but containing Bennett’s photograph.

Bennett is charged with passport fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 12 years in federal prison.

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