Woman Says She Was Raped Twice By Friend's Boyfriend; Defense Says Sex Was Consensual

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - by Hollie Webb

A woman told a Criminal Court jury on Tuesday that she was raped twice by her friend's boyfriend, but the defense claimed it was consensual sex and the woman made up the rape story to try to get out of a DUI.

William Michael Butler, a young Forsyth County man, is charged with two counts of rape.

The incident occurred on Dec. 3, 2010, when Butler was dating a friend of the victim. The two young women went to a birthday event and later went out to a bar, where Butler met up with them and some of his friends after he got off from work. When the bar was about to close, the two women went back to the former girlfriend's home. Butler joined them after he drove a friend home.

Prosecutor Lance Pope told the jury that the victim had planned on spending the night at her friend's home so that she would not have to drink and drive, and had packed an overnight bag earlier.

The victim was originally going to sleep on the couch, but after she became sick, Butler and his girlfriend put her to bed in a guest bedroom.

It was not long after this that the victim said Butler came into her room while she was asleep, pulled her to the side of the bed, and started to rape her. The victim was very groggy at this time from a combination of alcohol, sleep, and previously getting sick. She said that Butler heard a sound and left, and that she then curled up under the blanket, confused at what had happened. Shortly after, she said that Butler came back and raped her again.

The victim said that 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.

Defense attorney Dan Ripper said that his client did not commit rape but instead had consensual sex with the victim, who he said initiated the act. He said that Butler only initially lied to hide this from his girlfriend. Attorney Ripper said that this “may make (Butler) a fool, but it doesn't make him a rapist.”

Transcripts of the victim's text messages from the night of the incident were shown to the jury. One of these texts was to her roommate, explaining what had happened. The victim said that she noticed a time error in these records before the trial, stating that the time label was an hour ahead.

Attorney Ripper said that there was no error and that the time was accurate. He said that rather than sending the text to her roommate at 3:20 a.m. as she said, it was actually sent at 4:20 a.m., after she had been pulled over. Attorney Ripper said that she had only claimed that she had been raped to escape a DUI charge.

Attorney Pope disagreed. He pointed to another point in her text message records where she had sent a text to a friend stating that she would try to arrive at the friend's house by 7 p.m. The time label, however, said that the text was sent at 7:10 p.m. Attorney Pope pointed out that this would be illogical unless the victim was correct and this text had been sent at 6:10 p.m. He and the victim both stated that these records were taken from the victim's phone using a machine at the police station to print them out, and were not official transcripts from her phone carrier, Verizon.

Judge Barry Steelman adjourned the court shortly before 5 p.m. The trial will continue Thursday at 9 a.m. 

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