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Provo man who admitted to abusing 12 kids sent to prison

Published June 24, 2014 3:35 pm

Courts • William Butcher admitted to sexually abusing teen days before he left for LDS mission.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 21-year-old man who walked into the Provo police station over a year ago and admitted to sexually abusing a dozen children will spend at least 18 years — and possibly up to life — in the Utah State Prison.

William Butcher pleaded guilty in April in 4th District Court to nine felony charges, ranging from attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child to forcible sodomy.

On Monday, a judge handed down nine prison sentences, and ordered them to run consecutively: five years to life for one count of forcible sodomy, four three-to-life sentences for four counts of attempted aggravated abuse of a child, one to 15 years for one charge of forcible sexual abuse, and two zero-to-five year sentences for two counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child.

Butcher was 19 years old when he walked into the police department last February and told officers he had groped or sexually abused 12 people, ranging from infants to a 19-year-old man. Butcher claimed he had abused his first victim when he was 14, according to charges, but much of the abuse happened when he was an adult.

According to a plea agreement, Butcher admitted that he had most recently abused someone a month before he turned himself into police ­— which was three days before he left to serve a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Most of the abuse took place in Provo, according to the plea agreement. The victims ranged from an infant he babysat to a teenage boy he admitted to touching on a car-ride back from an Arizona Boy Scout camp.

According to court records, additional charges filed against the man were transferred to juvenile court because he was a minor at the time of those alleged offenses.

Butcher has no prior criminal history, according to a search of Utah court records.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller