An 18-year-old Belmont resident who pleaded no contest felony lewd act with a child in October for taking inappropriate photos of a 7-year-old girl while working at a children’s play place in Belmont was sentenced to five years probation and 364 days county jail, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
In custody on $350,000 bail, Tavi Benelli received 364 days credit for time served and was required to participate in a sex offender treatment program and register as a sex offender, according to prosecutors.
Benelli was charged in April with multiple counts of lewd acts with a child for an April 1 incident with a 7-year-old girl at the Pump It Up Bounce House in Belmont. He faced additional felony charges after a 14-year-old girl stepped forward in May alleging the teen sexually assaulted her over four months after they met through mutual friends, according to prosecutors previously.
Benelli was working at the Pump It Up Bounce House when he encountered a girl who had come to the birthday party venue at 1303 Elmer St. with her nanny. He is said to have approached the girl saying she had a scratch and they would find a Band-Aid for her before taking her to another room, according to prosecutors.
Benelli is believed to have told her to turn around and jump up and down, and as the girl followed his directions she saw he was taking photos of her. When she asked him what he was doing, Benelli told her to turn around again before telling her there was a dead bug on her butt and brushing it off, according to prosecutors.
The girl is said to have left the room and immediately told her nanny about the incident, who called police. When San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies arrived around noon, Benelli had left the business but came back when the owners called him, according to prosecutors.
Benelli tried to delete some photos on his phone when the deputies asked to see it, and the deputies allegedly found photos of the girl from behind among the phone’s deleted photos, according to prosecutors.
His defense attorney Jonathan McDougall was not immediately available for comment.