AFRICANGLOBE – A veteran Salem patrolman, who’s also the husband of the city’s police chief, told superior officers he “gave into temptation” when he allegedly raped a drunk inmate in a station broom closet, according to prosecutors and reports on the case.
Salem police Officer Brian Butler, now on paid administrative leave and facing up to 20 years in state prison, told one captain who confronted him, “I am embarrassed and I gave into temptation. I’ve embarrassed myself, my family and the police department … I’ve ruined a 24-year career,” court documents state.
The father of three and husband of 29 years of Salem police Chief Mary E. Butler pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and indecent assault and battery as his wife and parents looked on.
Salem District Court Judge Robert A. Brennan ordered Brian Butler held on $10,000 cash bail, which the officer posted soon after. He declined comment as he left the courthouse.
Chief Mary Butler, her emotions in check, told reporters she is taking time off to come to grips with her family’s troubles.
“I have to wear two hats, and they’re not always in direct harmony with one another,” she said. “We have a legal process in this country for a particular reason, and it’s to vet out the truth. That’s where we have to go from here.”
Her husband, she said, is “not (doing) well. I’m OK. Right now I’m just taking some personal time to deal with this situation.”
Brian Butler’s attorney Randy Chapman said the officer has no history of discipline issues in the department. “He’s a good police officer,” he said.
The rape occurred the morning of Halloween. The accuser was in protective custody after allegedly getting drunk and flooding a motel room bathroom at the Clipper Ship Inn.
Assistant Essex County District Attorney A.J. Camelio said the man was naked in his cell because he took off his wet clothes to try and sleep. It was the eve of Brian Butler’s 56th birthday. He later told investigators he’d been drinking.
The accuser told investigators in an affidavit before Salem Police Internal Affairs that Brian Butler fondled him under a blanket he was given to cover up while he called family to bring him dry clothes. He said the officer then took him to a broom closet and raped him.
“In fear, I said yes,” the accuser wrote. “After a few seconds I tried to pull away, then I asked him to stop. I asked him to stop 3 times and by the 3rd time he did and he took me back to my cell.”
Camelio said police station video and audio surveillance of Brian Butler and the accuser “confirms nearly everything that the victim did tell the police,” adding the broom closet “is one of the very few areas of the Salem police station where there are no cameras.”
By: Laurel J. Sweet