Saturday, August 18, 2007
State trooper violating public trust pursuing sex while on duty.
A state trooper stalked and harassed several women he met on duty -- fondling one and beginning a sexual relationship with another -- usually by telling them he would overlook their transgressions if they had relationships with him, police said in charges announced Thursday.
Trooper Charles T. Butler III is accused of several misdeeds, including having sex on the hood of his patrol car, using a state police computer to track down a woman and calling a woman so many times that she changes her phone number.
''It is an absolute concern when a police officer violates the public trust,'' Clearfield County District Attorney William Smith Jr. said.
The accusations laid out against Butler, 37, of Philipsburg, Centre County, cover the period from 2002 to June 2006, when the state police received an anonymous tip concerning Butler's actions and started investigating him.
The investigation uncovered illegal contact with seven women, five of whom Butler is accused of bribing with favors of leniency in return for attention or sexual favors.
Messages left at a phone listed in Butler's name and with his attorney, Joseph Amendola, were not immediately returned.
One woman told police that she and Butler, a trooper for nine years, had a long relationship that included having sex on the hood of his patrol car more than a dozen times. She said Butler let her drive despite knowing she had a suspended license and would stop at her house while on-duty to have sex, according to an arrest affidavit.
Butler took another woman to a bar, knowing that she was violating her probation by drinking, then promised not to tell her probation officer, police said. Butler fondled the woman, repeatedly suggested they should have sex, police said. She said he eventually called her so frequently that she had to change her telephone number.
Butler was arraigned Thursday on one count of unlawful use of a computer and five counts of bribery -- offering the women legal favors in exchange for their attention -- all third-degree felonies that carry up to seven years in prison each.
He also faces several misdemeanor charges including six counts of stalking, seven counts of official oppression, eight counts of harassment and one count of indecent assault