Ruling given for meth, video infractions

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic

Michael Bengston, 45, of Galva, Friday pleaded guilty to 19 felony counts of disseminating an unauthorized video recording, one felony count of harassment through electronic communication and one count of participation in methamphetamine production. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Police were initially alerted by a Jan. 9 complaint from a woman that her stepfather sent pictures of her that were taken in the bathroom to her cell phone.

Bengston later sent a text message threatening to strangle his stepdaughter after her brother ordered him to stop calling her.

He sent her 25 to 50 text messages last fall and more than 50 in December and January, according to Henry County State’s Attorney Terry Patton.

According to testimony at his preliminary hearing in March, Bengston initially provided Galva police four or five tapes, but later told them through jail personnel that the correct tapes were behind a couch in his house at 211 SW 6th St.

Galva Police Sgt. Scott Ballew testified at the time that that was when police found a suspected meth lab in the basement.

Patton told the judge Friday that the defendant admitted to manufacturing meth approximately 50 times last year.

Bengston agreed to seven years in prison on the charges involving messages and 10 years to be served consecutively on the methamphetamine charge.

Charges were filed in January.