Provo man who admitted to abusing 12 kids sent to prison
Courts • William Butcher admitted to sexually abusing teen days before he left for LDS mission.
Published: June 24, 2014 03:35PM
Updated: June 27, 2014 07:22PM
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William Leonard Butcher

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