Local law enforcement agent resigns in wake of FOX 12 sting

Fox News/February 18, 2004
By Michael J. Benthin

Clackamas -- Clackamas County has ordered an internal investigation into the conduct of a Reserve Deputy who has admitted to being caught in FOX 12's undercover sting to aimed at catching sexual predators online.

In a written statement, Sheriff Pat Detloff confirmed the resignation of 29-year old Michael J. Benthin.

Sheriff Detloff says Benthin admitted to chatting with what he believed was a child online and attempting to make contact with the child.

When he arrived at the home, he was caught on camera by FOX 12.

Sheriff Detloff says he extremely concerned about Benthin's conduct.

"I have immediately ordered an internal affairs investigation to determine what department policies may have been violated as well as any criminal wrongdoing on his part," said Sheriff Detloff. "He has not only betrayed the trust the community has placed in him, but the entire department as well."

Bethin had been a reserve officer with the county since 2000, and had passed an extensive background check and the county's 25-week Inter-Agency Police Reserve Academy.

Over a two-day period, FOX 12's sting employed volunteers from Perverted-Justice.com rooted out a dozen area men who used the Internet to hook up with teen girls.

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