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Guilty plea entered by man for inappropriate contact with youth

(Information provided by District Attorney General’s office) 

Ronnie Butler, 74, Carthage, recently entered a guilty plea in criminal court to inappropriately touching a child under the age of 13.

Butler pled guilty to one count of Aggravated Sexual Battery and was sentenced to ten years to serve in the Tennessee Department of Correction.  

The sentence must be served at one hundred percent without the possibility of parole.  

In addition, Butler was placed on the Tennessee Sexual Offender Registry and ordered to Community Sex Offender supervision for life at the conclusion of the prison sentence.

“This case had some very challenging circumstances,” said District Attorney Jason Lawson.  “Detectives Dusty Hailey and Steve Babcock of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office did a great job getting us enough evidence to prosecute. I am so proud of the young victim for the tremendous amount of courage she showed in coming forward and seeing the case through to the end.”

Lawson also commended the victim’s family for giving her strength.  

“It is a scary thing for a young victim to disclose something like this.  Although she had come forward to her mother, when she first met me she couldn’t even talk about it.  It is beyond question that the support of her family gave her the confidence to be able to share with me what she had been through, and that was vital to being able to prosecute this case,” Lawson commented.


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