By Linda Trischitta
FORT LAUDERDALE - A former Broward Sheriff's deputy who was arrested after a prostitution sting was sentenced to six months' probation Tuesday for the misdemeanor offense.
Christian Benenati, 40, was off-duty June 13 when he was accused of soliciting a Broward Sheriff's deputy who was posing as a sex worker in Pompano Beach.
According to an incident report, Benenati offered $20 for oral sex to the undercover deputy and was charged with a lewdness violation.
Four hours later he was arrested at 1000 N. University Drive in Coral Springs, the address for Bru's Room Sports Grill.
The arrest report was signed by Broward Sheriff's Sgt. George Anthony.
Though BSO said Tuesday that Anthony, 39, is suspended with pay, Anthony's lawyer, Tony Alfero said that the sergeant is working full time for BSO as a supervisor.
"The recommended discipline was two days without pay, but he hasn't served it because the hearing hasn't been held yet," Alfero said. "He was absolved of any wrongdoing by the State Attorney's Office. And he didn't do anything wrong administratively."
Alfero said Anthony was running the sting that ensnared Benenati.
"He could not shut down an expensive and productive operation to arrest a deputy," Alfero said. "Anthony called a supervisor. There was never any intention to not arrest Benenati."
Benenati was fired Nov. 2, BSO said, and is seeking to re-join the agency.
"He is working for a family business while he appeals his termination and works to get his job back," lawyer Michael A. Gottlieb said about his client.
Benenati pleaded no contest Tuesday before Broward County Judge Robert Diaz and was granted adjudication withheld, which means that he eventually may be able to have his arrest and conviction record sealed.