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Police: Utah man sexually abused at least 15 victims

Published February 8, 2013 3:15 pm

Crime • The suspect, who has not been charged, turned himself in, confessed.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo police now suspect that William Leonard Butcher sexually abused at least 15 children, a long list of alleged crimes that Butcher volunteered to the police when he turned himself in.

Butcher, 19, walked into the Provo Police Department on Wednesday morning and admitted that he had abused 12 boys and girls, according to the charges filed upon his arrest. He told the police that the victims ranged from infants to teenagers, and while Butcher abused his first victim when he was 14, most of it happened when he was an adult, and as recently as last month.

But as of Thursday night, detectives had identified three more victims as they continue to investigate Butcher's claims, said Lt. Mathew Suifanua, spokesman for the department. And there could be more.

"The potential for other victims is probably high," Siufanua said.

Butcher told police that most of the alleged abuse occurred in Provo, though he also confessed to abusing one victim while on the drive back from a Boy Scout camp, another in a hotel near the Sanpete County Fair, and a third while on a trip in southern Utah.

In one instance, Butcher allegedly abused two girls who were 12 to 14 years old and who told their parents what happened. The parents confronted Butcher, who was 16, and told him not to do it again.

After his admission to police, Butcher was arrested and booked into Utah County jail on suspicion of 13 counts of sexual abuse of a child, four counts of forcible sexual abuse of a child, and sodomy on a child, all felonies. He remained in jail as of Friday afternoon, although he has not yet been charged in 4th District Court.

Siufanua didn't know why Butcher admitted to the alleged crimes.

Butcher has no criminal history, according to a search of Utah court records — not even a speeding ticket.

The Provo police are asking any other possible victims to call 801-852-6210 and speak with detectives.


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