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Greensburg man admits entering apartments

| Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

A Greensburg man pleaded guilty Monday to secretly entering the apartments of two young women because he noticed them around town and started following them to learn their schedules.

John William Bennish, 60, will be sentenced at a later date for the plea on two counts each of burglary and criminal trespass, both felonies, before Judge Debra Pezze.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Tua Hammers did not make a sentencing recommendation. Each of the burglary counts carries a prison term of up to 20 years, and the trespass counts carry a sentence of up to seven years.

Pezze said the standard guideline ranges from probation to nine months' incarceration.

Bennish, a retired technician for Siemens, was arrested March 6 in the Toll House apartment where a Seton Hill University student lived because neighbors heard unusual noises inside.

The neighbors knew the student was out of town on spring break and told police they had seen Bennish enter another woman's apartment in February 2012.

According to investigators, police searched Bennish's home and confiscated photographs of more than a dozen scantily clad women, women's underwear and pornographic videos and magazines.

Bennish told police he broke into the apartments numerous times using a plastic tool because he was infatuated with the women.

Bennish's attorney, Harry Smail Jr., said previously that Bennish found the photos that were confiscated from his home in trash receptacles.

At the time of his preliminary hearing in May, Bennish was undergoing medical counseling for an undisclosed condition, according to Smail.

Charges of stalking and harassment were dropped.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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