Santa Clara County prosecutors seek death penalty in 2012 sexual assault, murder of toddler

File photo of a jail cell.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KRON) — Santa Clara County prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a man charged with sexually assaulting and killing a toddler in East San Jose in 2012, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Forty-one-year-old Alejandro Benitez will face a jury for allegedly killing and molesting 16-month-old Kaden Bernard on April 11, 2012, according to prosecutors.

It is the second time District Attorney Jeff Rosen will seek the death penalty, according to the district attorney’s office.

The other case is against Antolin Garcia Torres, who is accused of murdering and kidnapping 15-year-old Sierra LaMar near Morgan Hill in March 2012, district attorney’s officials said. Torres is scheduled to stand trial in April.

Kaden’s babysitter was the girlfriend of Benitez, who has been charged for killing the boy during the course of a sexual assault at her San Jose home in April 2012, prosecutors said.

An autopsy showed the child had more than 40 injuries, both internal and external, all over his body, according to prosecutors.

DNA tests from the boy’s clothes and body indicated a sexual crime took place and implicate Benitez as a suspect, prosecutors said.

“My decision to seek the ultimate punishment is based on a comprehensive analysis of the defendant’s actions,” Rosen said in a statement Wednesday.

“This was a nightmarish and extremely violent crime against the most vulnerable of all victims. It is the worst of the worst,” Rosen said.Deputy District Attorney Dan Fehderau is assigned to prosecute the

Deputy District Attorney Dan Fehderau is assigned to prosecute the case and Benitez is scheduled to appear in court on March 30.

Bay City News contributed to this report

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