JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — She’s triggered by everyday occurrences and having to start her life all over again, but Christopher Bennett’s rape victim strode to the witness stand Monday and said she “will become even stronger in the end.”

Bennett had just entered a plea agreement that guaranteed him life in prison without the possibility of parole when his victim walked up to the witness box and provided a victim impact statement, followed by her husband and her mother.

Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street’s courtroom got even quieter than it had been as the woman, who last September was carjacked along with her infant child in broad daylight, taken to an abandoned home, raped and then left.

Bennett, a convicted violent sex offender who pleaded guilty to another aggravated rape in Johnson City in 2010, had been out of prison for less than a year and a half when he committed the rape in September.

The victim’s husband provided the briefest statement as Bennett sat mere feet away, saying Bennett’s actions were “unspeakable” and that if he had his choice, Bennett would receive a death sentence.

“You are a monster,” he said. “I hope you’re locked away somewhere you’ll never see the light of day. I hope every meal you eat is tasteless. I hope you’re scared to leave your cell. I hope you live the rest of your pathetic life in fear. You will die alone in prison. You will be forgotten.”

The victim, who had twice voluntarily spoken in public about her status prior to Monday, said she and her family have been left with a lot of trauma that will take a long time to recover from.

“It’s like a scar that can never be undone, not to mention my own personal image,” she said. “He ripped me of my identity.”

Despite all of that, the woman said to Bennett, “you did not win.

“You have ruined your life, but I refuse to let you ruin mine or my family’s. We will recover from this and I will become even stronger in the end. You have made this world a very ugly place, but I refuse to be stuck in that. I will continue to see the beauty in this world.”

The victim’s mother showed the most emotion of the three, choking on her words several times and beginning by calling Bennett’s actions “unfathomable and unforgivable.”

She spoke of her career as a nurse “taking care of our society,” and contrasted that with Bennett’s crime.

“You have ruined my little girl, you have tried to ruin her marriage and my family, but we will not let you win, sir,” she said. “You will never hurt another person in Johnson City, Tennessee and I hope you won’t ever hurt anyone anywhere else, much less a little baby.”

She said Bennett “had a choice that day” and added that she was “so thankful that the law is being served” after the harm to “my little girl and her family that’s never harmed anyone.”

The victim was at a bank ATM when Bennett forced his way into her vehicle and drove to the other side of the city. She had to walk to a nearby house to call for help after he left her there. Bennett was already wanted by the Johnson City Police Department (JCPD) for allegedly stealing a vehicle in August 2022.

“You have stared us down every time we’ve come to court,” the victim’s mother concluded. “You can’t look at me now, and that’s ok because I’m looking at you and I’m speaking to you, and I will pray for you that one day you will feel bad for what you’ve done to society and these women and this baby that you harmed.”