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Wayne Benitez, ex-Palo Alto cop, pleads guilty to abusing gay man

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Wayne Benitez, an ex-Palo Alto police officer, has entered a guilty plea for abusing a gay man in Silicon Valley. Benitez pleaded guilty on Tuesday to excessive force related to the 2018 arrest of Gustavo Alvarez, who identifies as gay, according to The Mercury News.

Alvarez sued the city and the police department, winning a $572,000 settlement, and mandatory LGBTQ sensitivity training for the police force.

Benitez, 66, entered his plea at the Palo Alto courthouse, accepting misdemeanor counts of assault under color of authority and lying on a police report.

Also, Benitez was ordered by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Brian Buckelew to complete 750 hours of community service and undergo anger management and LGBTQ sensitivity training. “When someone with a badge breaks the law, it cracks the confidence that people have in law enforcement,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “That is not just unfortunate.

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