A man accused of stalking a Seton Hill University graduate student is headed to trial.
John William Bennish, 59, was charged with stalking, burglary and criminal trespass in connection with an incident on March 6 at Toll House Apartments off East Pittsburgh Street Extension.
State police said they found Bennish in the apartment of a 24-year-old Seton Hill University student who was not home at the time. Residents reported seeing him in another woman's apartment in the complex the month before.
Investigators said they executed a search warrant at Bennish's home and found photos of different women in bathing suits. Officers said they also found several pairs of women's underwear and women's shorts inside of his home.
Bennish's defense attorney, Harry Smail Jr., said because Bennish found the photos in the trash, it's not a crime. Smail said the photos became public when they were discarded, and the owners had no expectation of privacy.
"There were no photos received illegally," Smail said.
Trooper Steve Limani, a spokesman for Troop A/Greensburg, said all but four of the women have come forward to identify themselves in the photos.
"No one has any knowledge or any relationship (with Bennish)," Limani said. "We've given him plenty of opportunity to sit down and talk with us about how he obtained the photos. He's not been able to offer a reasonable explanation of how the photos were obtained."
Smail criticized the state police reports on the photos, pornographic materials and women's underwear found during a search of Bennish's home on Rimrock Road, which borders the Linwood section of Hempfield.
None of that is a crime, Smail said, noting there is a difference between criminal behavior and "what is beyond the norm."
There is no word on when Bennish's trial will begin. His attorney said they're working to get several of the charges dropped.
Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.