Judge Accepts Plea, Sentences Criminal Confinement Defendant

 The Knox man who handcuffed and shackled his wife to their coffee table while wielding a knife was sentenced to 10 years in prison, despite the victim’s protest that his punishment is too harsh. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall accepted a plea from 37-year-old Benny Giselbach to charges of escape, criminal confinement and resisting arrest. All three stem from an April 15th incident at his Bass Lake area home.

Employees at Bass Lake Pub and Ristorante called 911 when a woman showed up there in handcuffs and shackles and told them she had escaped from her husband. Giselbach left their house before officers arrived, according to court documents, and was located nearby. At the time he was wearing a court-ordered electronic monitoring device, which he admitted cutting off.

The victim, Doris Giselbach, told Judge Hall her husband, from whom she is legally separated, “didn’t know what he was doing.” She claimed they were both drunk at the time and says they are both alcoholics in need of treatment. “Everything that ever happened came from alcohol,” she said. She also told the judge she loves her husband very much.

Benny Giselbach declined to make a statement. Judge Hall sentenced him to eight years in prison for criminal confinement and one year in the Starke County Jail for resisting law enforcement. Those two sentences will run concurrently, for a total of eight years, but consecutively with a two-year prison sentence for escape. The state reserves the right to modify the sentence at any time, and the final two years can be served on work release if Giselbach is accepted into a program. None of the sentences were suspended. Giselbach will receive credit for 120 days served in the Starke County Jail. He was also ordered to pay $132 in restitution to the Starke County Sheriff’s Office for two uniforms damaged during the pursuit. A state charge of illegal possession of a handgun was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Judge Hall noted Giselbach has an extensive criminal history, which includes felony convictions for burglary and auto theft and misdemeanor convictions for numerous offenses including battery and intimidation. He’s also wanted on a federal felon in possession of a firearm warrant.