JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A previously convicted violent sex offender appeared in court Thursday after authorities accused him of carjacking a mother’s car with her baby inside and raping her at an abandoned house.
A Washington County judge increased Christopher Wayne Bennett’s bond to $500,000 and ordered him not to contact the victim. A News Channel 11 crew was in the courtroom when Bennett waived all charges to a grand jury.
He faces multiple charges, including especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, carjacking, robbery and violation of the sex offender registry law.
The charges stem from a Sept. 27 incident that occurred near a busy intersection in Johnson City during broad daylight. Bennett allegedly entered the woman’s vehicle while she was at an ATM and threatened that he had a knife. The woman’s 1-year-old child was also in the vehicle, according to the original release from the Johnson City Police Department (JCPD).
Bennett is accused of forcing the woman to drive him across the county to an abandoned house, where he raped her before taking her vehicle and phone, leaving her and her child.
Before the alleged kidnapping and rape, Bennett has a lengthy criminal history and served a prison sentence for a previous Johnson City rape in 2010. Court documents obtained by News Channel 11 show Bennett pulled a knife on a woman and raped her in her apartment in that incident.