ITHACA, N.Y. — A man who sexually abused children for years and attempted to flee to Mexico while on bail, accepted a plea deal in Tompkins County Court.

Ever Benites, 36, was convicted of felonies for first-degree course of sexual misconduct against a child and first-degree sexual abuse. He’ll spend five years in prison and 20 years of post-release supervision. He could have faced up to 25 years in jail for the crimes.

He accepted the plea in court Thursday just after 5:00 p.m.

Benites was initially released on bond, but taken into custody again in late-July after officials caught him apparently trying to flee to Mexico after missing a court appearance. He was found at a transit station in Edinburg, Texas — located about 25-miles from the Mexico border — after boarding a bus in Nashville that was scheduled to stop in Brownsville, Texas. Brownsville is a city located directly next to the Mexico border.

The man is accused of abusing two young children over the course of several years. Court records indicate that Benites bribed the children into silence with candy and toys.

Related: Records: Accused Ithaca sex abuser bribed children into silence with toys, candy

Benites was employed at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center at some point, an effort the prosecutor said was to ensure he’d be surrounded by children.

Interim Director at GIAC Leslyn McBean-Clairborne confirmed that Benites was employed as a part-time custodian at the facility. She said Benites was let go after GIAC officials became aware of the possibility that he would be charged with sex abuse crimes.

Benites was also employed by the Ithaca City School District,where he had a variety of jobs from 2002 until 2013. He resigned in 2013, but school officials have previously declined to state why he resigned.

Police previously said they do not believe there are other victim of Benites.

Related: Accused child sex abuser was employed by Ithaca school district, worked with children

Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama prosecuted the case. Benites was represented by attorney Kevin Kelly.

Related: Editorial: Ithaca orgs. should have told parents about alleged child sex abuse sooner

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.