The man was convicted following a trial at Kingston crown court of multiple counts of indecent assault on a boy
The man was convicted following a trial at Kingston crown court of multiple counts of indecent assault on a boy ( PA Archive/PA Images
A man who was sexually abused by a British Army cadet officer has spoken for the first time to urge other victims to come forward, after winning a payout from the Ministry of Defence.
As a teenager the victim suffered repeated indecent assaults by Stuart Stefano Benedetti at a weekend camping session in the early 2000s.
He kept quiet about the abuse for a decade before telling his parents and reporting it to police.
But he suffered the agony of the Crown Prosecution Service dropping the case. A second victim came forward in 2016, and the Army officer was convicted of sexual abuse and jailed for 15 years.
The man, who cannot be named, said: “I found it incredibly difficult to come to terms with what I had been through and only managed to have the courage to speak to my parents about it around 10 years later,” he said.
The man hired law firm Irwin Mitchell to pursue compensation over the abuse, ultimately securing an admission of liability and an interim payment from the Ministry of Defence.
His lawyer, Anna Pask, said: “It can be incredibly difficult for abuse survivors to speak out but our client has shown amazing courage to come forward and share his story.”
Benedetti, now 48, denied the abuse but was convicted following a trial at Kingston crown court of multiple counts of indecent assault on a boy.
The victim, who is now in his thirties, is using the money from the MoD to pay for specialist therapy.
An MOD spokesman declined to comment on the compensation claim while it continues, but said: “We have robust procedures in place to protect cadets … We encourage anyone who has been a victim, or knows someone who has, to report .
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