Update: The Ithaca City School District has provided updated information regarding Ever Benites’ employment history and the story has been updated to reflect that. 

ITHACA, N.Y. — A man who has been indicted on multiple child sex abuse charges was employed by the Ithaca City School District for about nine academic years and worked with children there, a school official said Friday.

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“The district has no information whatsoever that would suggest any inappropriate conduct involving children while he was employed by the district,” Robert VanKeuren, director of human resources and labor relations said in an email.

He said Ever Benites worked for the district from May 1, 2009 to June 30, 2013.

Ever Benites

Benites was indicted on child sex abuse charges on Dec. 3. He’s charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, course of sexual conduct against a child, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded not guilty to the charges last week.

Related: Indictment — Ithaca man sexually abused 2 young children

According to court documents, from May 2, 2004 to May 2, 2007, Benites sexually abused a six-year-old girl. The other child, who was 5-years-old at the time of the incident or incidents, was abused from Jan. 20, 1999 to Jan. 20 2001.

He allegedly bribed them with toys and candy in return for their silence.

Related: Records — Accused Ithaca sex abuser bribed children into silence with toys, candy
VanKeuren said in the email that Benites worked for in various roles at the district.

In the summer of 2002, he was a temporary/summer custodial worker and substitute teaching assistant for summer school. From 2003 to 2007, he was a substitute teaching assistant. He did not work for the district for the 2007 to 2008 school year.
From the 2009-10 school year he was a sub-teacher aide for one pay period. From 2010-2011, he was a pre-kindergarten teacher aide. From 2011 to 2012, he spent half the year as a substitute teacher aide, which he also did in the summer of 2012 and 2012 to 2013 school year.

VanKeuren said, “There were never any complaints of sexual or inappropriate physical or verbal contact during his employment involving students or other people while employed by the district.”

He said Benites resigned on June 30, 2013, but did not clarify why.

During his arraignment, it was revealed that he was also employed at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center.

Interim Director Leslyn McBean-Clairborne previously confirmed that Benites was employed as a part-time custodian at the facility. She said Benites was let go after GIAC officials became aware of the possibility that he would be charged with sex abuse crimes.

“He was let go immediately,” McBean-Clairborne said.

She said parents have not been notified because GIAC officials are not involved with the case and were not aware he’d been formally charged.

Benites was taken into custody at the Tompkins County Courthouse last week after his bail doubled to $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.