Criminal Court Jury Clears Former Chattanooga Bartender Of Rape Charge

Friday, October 11, 2013
William Michael Butler
William Michael Butler

A Criminal Court jury on Friday afternoon cleared a former Chattanooga bartender of a charge of rape.

The jury in the courtroom of Judge Barry Steelman ruled William Michael Butler, 25, innocent at the close of the three-day trial.

Bulter took the witness stand, saying that the alleged victim had initiated the sex after he got up to look for his cell phone in the Dec. 3, 2010, incident. He said it happened after he went into the spare bedroom of his girlfriend's house, where the alleged victim was sleeping.

He said he lied to police by denying that he had sex with the young woman because he did not want his then-girlfriend to find out.

Butler, who now works as a bartender in Knoxville, said the alleged victim was a friend of his girl friend of three years. He told the jury he was not fond of the woman and he did not like the way his girlfriend acted when she was around. He said he often "butted heads" with the alleged victim.

He said that night the woman was staying at their residence on Old Dallas Road, rather than drive home after having some drinks. He said he carried the girl from a couch in the living room to the spare bedroom, then joined his then-girlfriend in their master bedroom.

Butler told the jury that when he went into the spare bedroom the woman said something and reached out to him. He said he got closer to hear what she was saying and she grabbed him by the arm. He said she put one of his hands on her breast and then grabbed his private area.

He said he got in bed with her, then he got spooked when he heard a noise because his then-girlfriend was still awake. He said he checked it out, then got back in bed with the visitor. After that he said he went back to the master bedroom and watched TV with his then-girlfriend.

He said he was later awakened by his then-girlfriend "freaking out," saying that the other woman was charging that he had raped her.

The alleged victim said Butler came into her room while she was asleep, pulled her to the side of the bed, and started to rape her. She said she was very groggy at this time from a combination of alcohol, sleep, and previously getting sick. She said Butler heard a sound and left, and that she then curled up under the blanket, confused at what had happened. Shortly after, she said Butler came back and raped her again.

The victim said after this she was terrified and she fled the house. She left behind everything but her purse and her phone, running barefoot to her car. Not long after, she was pulled over by a police officer for having a tail light out. She immediately told the officer that she had been raped, and she went with him to the police station so that he could file a report.

A rape kit was also collected, and DNA found on Butler matched the DNA of the victim.

Butler was represented by attorney Dan Ripper.




Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BOTTS, KAITLIN RENEE  148 HOLLYBERRY LN CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PUBLIC INTOXICATION DISORDERLY CONDUCT --- BOZEMAN, CRYSTAL WHITNEY  4509 KIRKLAND AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37410  Age at Arrest: 29 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton ... (click for more)

kunesh Calls For City Racial Disparity Study

City Council District 8 candidate tom kunesh said the "selection of the local all-white Hefferlin & Kronenberg Architects firm by the city of Chattanooga to design and lead neighborhood input into a new $6 million Avondale Recreation Center for Avondale's 99 percent black population should make any race-conscious person wonder what the city’s contractor selection process is, ... (click for more)

Rhonda Thurman: Speaking The Truth About CSLA - And Response

One parent called me a “Liar” during Thursday’s Facilities meeting. Others from CSLA have been a bit more creative saying that I spread “misinformation”, “falsehoods” and “spread inaccurate statements”. Then there were more descriptive terms- “arrogant”, “uninformed”, “unprofessional”- if these CSLA parents don’t stop, they are going to hurt my feelings. In this letter, I will attempt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Illegals Cost Us Billions

We learned over the weekend that John Kelly, our new Secretary of Homeland Security, has just prepared two strongly-worded memos that could greatly enhance federal authorities to detain and/or deport illegal immigrants both inside the United States and those caught at our borders. All rational United States citizens know we have a horrible problem with illegals – in 2010 the annual ... (click for more)

Bradley Runs Away With Another AAA State Crown

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Bradley’s Ben Smith may be one of the most excitable wrestling coaches on earth, especially when his Bears are in the middle of a tough tournament. Such was the case here at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Center this weekend as the Bears successfully defending their traditional title at the TSSAA State Meet as they finished the three-day event ... (click for more)

Father Ryan Wins Fourth Straight D-II Mat Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Father Ryan wrestling team can now honestly boast “four-peat” when anyone asked about the most recent Division II state wrestling tournament. The Purple Irish won the state duals two weeks ago and they added another traditional title here at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Center Saturday night. Saturday’s victory is the 21 st overall for ... (click for more)