Brian Wilson Band Member Convicted of Rape
Scott Bennett, a multi-instrumentalist who has recorded and toured steadily with Brian Wilson since 1998, was convicted of rape by instrumentation and sexual battery on April 29.
The Tulsa World reports that Bennett's conviction came after a week-long trial, and was secured largely on the strength of video footage that shows him with the victim at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
According to the report, the footage shows Bennett preventing the woman, who was 21 at the time, from leaving the elevator they shared, then exiting with her and attempting to carry her down a hallway before "appear[ing] to sexually assault her." Bennett is then seen taking her to his hotel room, which she exited after roughly 35 minutes. Calling the video "very, very disturbing," prosecutor Edith Singer accused Bennett of leaving the woman alone in a hallway "like a sack of trash."
Bennett's attorney, Shannon McMurray, has vowed to appeal the conviction, maintaining that both parties were inebriated. "It’s a tragedy all the way around," she told the World. "Two drunk people running into each other — now one person’s a convicted sex offender."
Bennett made his Wilson debut on 1998's Imagination, which started a long string of recording and touring activity in the Beach Boys co-founder's camp. He co-produced and co-wrote Wilson's 2008 effort, That Lucky Old Sun, and contributed lyrics to a pair of unfinished Gershwin compositions for 2010's Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin. Most recently, Bennett toured with the reunited Beach Boys behind 2012's That's Why God Made the Radio and appeared on Wilson's 2015 release, No Pier Pressure.
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