State Police have arrested the last person to be seen with missing 12-year-old, Brooke Bennett.
Police say 42-year-old Michael Jacques is being held at the Southern State Correctional Facility, in Springfield, Sunday night, on sexual assault charges unrelated to Bennett's case. Jacques, who is Bennett's uncle, is being charged with aggravated sexual assault of a minor. Police uncovered evidence linking him to the alleged crime while investigating Bennett's disappearance.
Jacques is a registered sex offender; he was arrested and convicted of kidnapping and sexual assault in 1993. Police say that the new charges are not connected in any way to Bennett or her disappearance. Police do say, however, that the minor involved in the new charges is from Randolph.
Jacques and Bennett were seen on surveillance video at the Cumberland Farms convenience store in Randolph, on Wednesday morning. Bennett disappeared a short time later.
Two days ago, WCAX asked Brooke's father, Jim Bennett, whether he believed a family member was involved with Brooke's disappearance. He said, "I guess there's some question about the uncle, but I don't personally know him that well, so I can't say."
Jacques will be arraigned in Orange County District Court on Monday. He is being held on $100,000 bail. Aggravated sexual assault carries a sentence of ten-years-to-life in prison, and a fine of up to $50,000.
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