Saratoga Springs man charged with sexually abusing Provo child just 2 weeks after acquittal on rape charge

Samuel Heber Butler. Photo: Utah County

UTAH COUNTY, Feb. 15, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Saratoga Springs man with a history of sexual assault allegations has been arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse in Provo.

Samuel Heber Butler, 24, was booked into jail on Thursday on suspicion of:

  • Sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony
  • Object rape of a child, a first-degree felony
  • Attempted rape of a child, a second-degree felony
  • Sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to remain at the scene of an accident, damage only, a class B misdemeanor

A probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Provo Police Department says Butler is accused of assaulting a 6-year-old girl in her residence while the child’s mother was asleep.

The girl told her mother a few hours later what had happened. The mother said she had met Butler a few weeks prior through social media.

“The mother confronted Samuel about sexually assaulting the victim at which time Samuel fled the victim’s residence in his vehicle,” the probable cause statement says.

“At some point after leaving the residence, Samuel cut both of his arms/wrists with a kitchen knife from the victim’s residence. Samuel drove and crashed his van into one of the victim’s neighbors cars, and then left the scene of that accident driving his van again.”

The Provo Police statement also notes that Butler was a suspect in two earlier sexual assault cases in Utah County, in 2014 and 2016.

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Butler is being held on $75,000 bail.

Butler’s most recent arrest came 13 days after he was acquitted of a 2017 rape in Washington County.

In that case, Butler was charged with first-degree felony rape after an incident first investigated by the Dixie State College Police. The complainant said she met Butler through a dating app, and told him she would meet him for coffee, but she would not have sex.

The woman instead of going for coffee said Butler picked her up and took her to his apartment, where allegedly made unwanted advances, eventually removing her clothing and holding her down. The woman said she didn’t have the strength to push him off, and he raped her.

When interviewed, Butler admitted to picking up the woman and having sex, and to her saying she couldn’t have sex because “she was not that type of person.”

The probable cause statement by the Dixie State University Police Department notes that Butler was a suspect in the two earlier Utah County cases, and a case out of Logan. A search of online court records does not show any charges filed in those cases.

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