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Benton County man accused of trying to get girl to send him nude photos

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A Benton County man was arraigned in court for sex crime allegations regarding an adolescent girl whom he knew.

In Benton County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Jan. 17, Mychal Eugene Henderson, 54, pleaded not guilty to first-degree sexual abuse; attempted using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, a felony; and attempted encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree, a misdemeanor.

Court documents accuse Henderson of compelling the girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct in photos, attempting to pay the girl for photos of sexually explicit conduct, and subjecting the girl to sexual contact.

In a series of text messages asking the girl for “special stuff pics” while she was home alone, Henderson allegedly offered her $9 for the photos, according to court documents.

“There is no one here but us and I thought it would be easier,” Henderson allegedly texted to the girl.

The victim didn’t respond and contacted her mother instead, who confronted Henderson about the messages, the court documents state. Henderson allegedly told the victim’s mother he was “testing” the girl to make sure she wouldn’t send “inappropriate” photos, according to the documents.

In August, police were given a screenshot of the text messages as evidence. The victim then told her mother Henderson had touched intimate areas of her body. In a call recorded by police, Henderson allegedly admitted to sending the messages but denied he wanted the girl to send nude photos.

"I feel like scum right now. I've been feeling like that ever since. That's just not me, I wasn't myself. I was like some other strange person that just came out,” Henderson said, according to court documents.

In the past, Henderson offered the girl a smartphone to take pictures, court documents allege. Inappropriate physical contact with the girl in her bedroom is also described in the documents.

In a Jan. 16 interview, Henderson said he wanted the girl to send nude photos, according to court documents, which state he targeted her while family members were not home. He allegedly admitted attraction to the girl but denied any sexual contact, claiming he only sat on her bed.

Cody Mann covers the cities of Corvallis and Philomath. He can be contacted at 541-812-6113 or Cody.Mann@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter via @News_Mann_.

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Cody Mann is an experienced, relentless journalist, who is currently working as a local government news reporter for the Corvallis Gazette-Times. He earned journalism bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oregon.

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